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Shoppers urged to order Christmas gifts early as Amazon warns of ‘global supply crunch’

The retail giant's UK arm has warned customers of possible delays to their orders.

Online shopping giant Amazon will be urging shoppers to buy Christmas gifts early amid concerns of a global supply crunch.

An internal document seen by The Independent has revealed Amazon will push customers to shop in November, instead of the usual peak in mid-December, to avoid any disappointment.

According to company planning sheets, the retail giant’s UK arm is expected to ask people to order as early as four weeks ahead of Christmas due to ongoing supply chain disruption.

The company has warned that even Prime members who pay for speedier delivery may face some delays with stock shortages expected to linger until at least spring next year.

Amazon is expecting supply shortages to linger until spring next year.

As Amazon tries to move the majority of orders towards the end of November, reminders will start with “shop early” banners on its site and app, ahead of an e-mail campaign.

A person familiar with Amazon’s operations told The Independent: “There’s an effort to shift the big push of orders that comes through ahead of mid-December earlier.

“It’s hard to overestimate the level of supply disruption we’re facing, even with our resources.

“It’s going to be a long, quite painful road to a new normal and air freight can’t take all the strain off of other routes.”

‘If you see it buy it because you will be disappointed otherwise’

The news come after the owner of one of the UK’s largest independent toy retailers warned of shortages in the run-up to Christmas.

Yesterday, Toytown managing director Alan Simpson, who owns 10 stores across Scotland – including one in Aberdeen Trinity Centre, said toys will still be on sale, but stock will be limited.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, he added that delays in shipping stock out of China alongside a shortage in HGV drivers had created the “perfect storm”.

Shoppers in Toytown’s store in Aberdeen Trinity Centre.

“My estimation is that there could be several hundred containers that won’t arrive in time for Christmas.” Mr Simpson said.

“Our shelves are full at the minute but we’re working from existing stockholding, that can’t last forever.

“It’s the most popular toys that sell out first.

“People going into a store in December will not see the usual selection that they are used to.

“If you see it buy it because you will be disappointed otherwise.”

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