Shop owners say don't worry about Christmas supplies

Geoff Bateman, owner of Toybox 55

Geoff Bateman, owner of Toybox 55, said customers have been getting their orders in early. - Credit: James Weeds

Shop owners in Great Yarmouth have said that they are facing some issues with supplies ahead of Christmas, but have stressed that there is no need for customers to panic buy.

Their comments came as transport secretary Grant Shapps said “Christmas will go ahead” after further measures were introduced in a bid to tackle supply chain problems hitting industries across the UK.

Globally, the pandemic is complicating international supply chain logistics, affecting grocery and toy imports.

Steve Kerrison, owner of Kerrison Toys on King Street, said: "People are certainly worried about what stock will be around.

"We've had a few deliveries recently and we're starting to look very healthy on the shelves.

"We're not really struggling - there will be plenty of toys out for Christmas, but people might struggle to get specific ones.

"The other thing we're finding is the delay in launching new ranges. Whereas something would have come out now for Christmas, there are some delays until January and February as the suppliers won't have their stock until then.

"Other than that, we're finding people are buying early if they know what they want.

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"What came out last year, kids were happy to get whatever they got and we're expecting that this year as well."

Richard Burton, owner of Sentiments,

Richard Burton, owner of Sentiments, has noticed that more people are buying Christmas cards earlier, but said there was no reason for customers to panic buy. - Credit: James Weeds

Richard Burton, owner of Sentiments on the Market Place, said: "People are getting a little panicky wondering what's going to happen.

"They are shopping early to avoid disappointment, probably a bit early to get Christmas stuff out but it's supply and demand.

"Christmas cards are especially going very well at the moment.

"One of the main problems is that the warehouses aren't getting stock.

"We have managed to get most of what we wanted but not everything."

Mr Burton assured his customers not to panic.

"We have enough stock at the moment," he said.

Philip Blake at H Blakes Butchers

Phil Blake, owner of H Blake Butchers on the Market Place, said that despite people's concerns, they have no reason to panic buy meat this Christmas. - Credit: James Weeds

Philip Blake, owner of H Blake Butchers on the Market Place, said some of his customers are worrying about meat for Christmas.

He said: "People are worrying. They are asking more and more about Christmas orders, but we don’t take any until November.

"We have a lot more people asking more about getting things early."

Mr Blake also reassured his customers to not panic buy.

"Where I get my turkeys and geese from, there's no problem at all.

"There's no need to panic."

Mr Blake will be taking Christmas orders from November as usual.

Geoff Bateman, owner of Toybox 55

Geoff Bateman, owner of Toybox 55, said customers have been getting their orders in early. - Credit: James Weeds

Geoff Bateman, owner of Toybox 55 in Victoria Arcade, said: “More people are making orders.

"I have nearly two-and-a-half books of Christmas orders already.

"It's working really well.

"One lady has done just under £200.

"Most people have been ordering about £100-£120.

"People are asking if there's a limit - but the limit is what you can afford."

Mr Bateman shared that there were some issues with stock with some of this year's must-have toys.

"This year's special toy - a magic cauldron - we're still waiting to receive them.

"They look really good, but along with the new Disney Cars racetrack, and things from Spiderman, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig, we are struggling.

"All we're hearing from wholesalers is 'it's coming soon'.

"I think all toyshops are all going to be in the same boat this year."

Mr Bateman shared that while there are some issues with supply, customers making Christmas orders and paying by instalments is making things operate smoother.

"Because of the stock situation, suppliers are taking it off the shelves and I’m able to store it," Mr Bateman said.

Mr Bateman encouraged people to prepare early, but not to panic buy.

"People should be sensible, but there's not much need to worry, really."

What are this Christmas's "must-have" toys?

Kerrison Toys owner, Steve Kerrison said that after 25 years, Pokemon is still a very popular product.

"And it will continue to be," Mr Kerrison said. 

"It's celebrating its 25th anniversary all this year and there are new card sets and toys to mark the occasion."

"It's certainly not looking like it's slowing down."

Geoff Bateman, owner of Toybox 55, said that while old favourites such as Spiderman, Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol continue to be the big hitters at Christmas, this year's must-have is more spellbinding.

Mr Bateman said Magic Mixies Magic Cauldron, which contains ingredients to homebrew smoke and bubbles, is receiving a lot of interest from parents this year.

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