Hello and happy Friday.
The clocks go backwards this weekend, the nights are drawing in and the big fella in red and white will soon be coming down the chimney.
Is it too early to start speaking about Christmas? In a normal year I would say yes. But this year is not normal.
Every retailer is going to struggle this year with their supply chain so our advice is buy early so as to not be dissapointed.
Take our Football Bottle Openers for example.
We have very few left of all designs and have had an order in for a couple of weeks for a re-stock. We have been told by our supplier that it wil be around 2-3 weeks before they are in a position to dispatch more.
Now luckily we have our order in and it should be enough to cover the Christmas rush. But if we sell out over the next 4 weeks, we will unlikely be able to get another re-stock in this side of Christmas.
Companies are having issues throughout the supply chain.
Lead time on anything coming from the China has gone from "5-7 days" to "5-7 weeks" as factory closures and Covid are still causing issues.
This puts a strain on both products that are ordered in from the far-East and the materials required to make the products over here. Everyone is struggling.
Then you have the haulage issue.
The lack of HGV drivers is not just a UK issue but worldwide.
The lack of HGV drivers puts a delay on good made in the UK and across Europe. Companies are putting their drivers on jobs that involve essential items, which in turn will mean less lorries on the road to bring in your Christmas gifts.
And then we have the pressure on skilled and unskilled workers in the UK.
There are over 1 million job vacancies in the UK. Many of these are on production lines. So even if companies can get the materials to make the goods, they are struggling to get the staff to make, manufacture and dispatch them.
6 months ago when we started, we could order a re-stock of beer mats on a Wednesday and they would be with us the Wednesday after. That lead time has doubled meaning the order of the new Arsenal beer mats (keep your eye on our Twitter feed!) that we placed yesterday will not be with us until Thursday 11th November.
We are running low on beer mats and the window to re-stock to get them in before Christmas is closing. We are anticipating another delivery in the last week of November but after that when thye are gone they are gone.
So please, whether you are buying from us or elsewhere, please get your order in early to avoid disapointment.
It is frustrating as a small retailer when someone places and order on 21st December and then Emails on the 24th demanding to know where their item is. We are not Amazon. We do not have a Prime service.
On that note, if you are looking to buy something for us, please check out our Christmas 2021 deadlines.
But again, remember, we are expecting to sell out earlier than normal this year so please do not leave it until the last minute to order!