Time flies when you’re riding out a global pandemic, and with Christmas less than 100 days away, retailers are warning parents of a major toy shortage this holiday season.
Last year, parents across the country struggled to find toys for the Christmas holidays as the need to keep kids entertained at home throughout the year was greater than ever before. And despite high hopes for better holiday shopping in 2021, retailers are urging parents to shop early to secure the toys they want.
According to a survey from professional services firm KPMG, 82 percent of retail executives said they are somewhat or very concerned about inventory shortages thanks to a global supply chain crisis.
“There is going to be a major shortage of toy products this year,” Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment, creators of LOL! dolls, told CNN Business. “The demand is going to be there. What is not going to be there is the product to fill the demand.”
Unfortunately for parents, the solution may not be as simple as shopping online. Retailers are expecting e-commerce sales to surpass 2020 levels by 35 percent.
And toy shortages isn’t the only threat to parents (and Santa) this holiday season. Inflation, due to the increased demand, is through the roof.
Consumers can expect price increases of 5% to 10%, according to toy industry insider Jim Silver, CEO of Toys, Tots, Pets & More, a leading consumer video review site.
Despite toy shortages, supply chain concerns, and price hikes across the board, sales forecasts for the 2021 holiday season are more optimistic than ever, with projected sales for U.S. retailers increasing by 7 percent over last year’s—a figure nearly double the retail industry’s historical annual growth rate.
Experts recommend shopping early to secure the most important items on your holiday toy list this season, and encourage parents to stay on top of promotions from various retailers.
Some parents are heeding the warning, while others are taking the national toy shortage as an opportunity to try out the “need, want, wear, read” method, which limits the gift giving and helps families refocus on the “reason for the season.”