Panic buying could soon leave parents and children disappointed – as surges in demand has led to “dramatic” shortages of children’s outdoor toys.
The enormous snake-like queues returned outside the country’s supermarkets at the end of last year, as Scotland was thrown back into far-stricter coronavirus restrictions.
But a drive to make the most of what families are allowed to do has also led, retailers claim, to a run on outdoor toys.
While big bags of pasta and toilet roll was again in high demand, orders of climbing frames, slides, swings sets and trampolines are soaring “above expectations”, retailer James Owen, of Rebo UK, said.
The trade had previously warned a surge in sales in the run-up to the festive period could leave youngsters disappointed on Christmas morning – which meant stock set aside for this spring has already been sold.
Mr Owen said: “The stock we had delivered before December was intended for the usual high demand at Easter but a big rise in sales has taken the whole industry by surprise so shortages will no doubt follow.”
It comes as trade experts predict price increases are “guaranteed” due to hikes in the cost of shipping freight from Asia hitting record highs.
Record prices for container freight from Asia has to be reflected on the new stock arriving.
Lloyds Loading List reported that as container freight prices soar to nearly three times their normal level, up 282% on this time last year, further hikes in prices are expected later this month.
Equipment shortages, port delays and lack of capacity are expected to continue through until mid-February.