December 8, 2021

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Shipping crisis could lead to Christmas shopping shortage - E24

Shipping crisis could lead to Christmas shopping shortage – E24

Large retail chains have worked for a long time to ensure that the shipping crisis does not affect important Christmas shopping.

Christmas shopping is very important for all the big chains. But are they getting enough of the imported goods? Here from Storosenteret in Oslo last Christmas.

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– Procurement and Logistics has been fully working with this throughout 2021, says Director of Operations (COO) Fredrik Tonsen at Elkjøp Nordic to E24.

The company has already filled the main warehouse more than usual, to ensure that consumers will be able to find the goods they want during Black Week and Christmas shopping.

Cargo capacity with container ships has exploded in the world, which means, among other things, that Norwegian shops do not have the same supply of goods as they used to.

This also means that the limited charging capacity they receive is more expensive.

They pose the risk of a dearth of imported goods such as electronics and clothing, to name a few.

New car sales in Europe are at record lows, stores are empty of merchandise, the armed forces are short on boots, and container shipping companies are making a lot of money. Some items will be completely missing, others will come to Norwegian store shelves – but they will be more expensive.

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There is no new problem

The problems started when the Corona epidemic hit the world, and there were strict restrictions in the world’s ports and at the same time the consumption of goods increased.

Now the hottest season for retail is approaching – the November sales days and the next Christmas shopping.

Access to merchandise is a challenge to trade, also for us at XXL. This is by no means new, the bike crisis has resulted in us working hard to get bikes all year round. More recently, footwear and textiles produced in Asia have been affected, among others. It’s not just about shipping delays, but also production pauses in countries like Vietnam where infection rates are still high, says Andreas Neheim, Communications Director from XXL to E24, Andreas Neheim.

Frederic Tonsen in Elkjob Nordic.

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Store chains E24 said they spent a lot of time getting most merchandise into stores to prepare for sales days in November and Christmas shopping in December. Jernia started last fall, and Elkjøp has been doing Christmas shopping all year long.

– We’ve taken steps to make sure we have Christmas shopping merchandise, among other things, we’ve placed orders much earlier than we did before, CEO Espen Carlsen tells E24, adding that they have already received Christmas items in stock, We expect more this month.

“Christmas shopping is as important to us as it is to everyone else in retail, so we’ve spent a lot of resources ensuring customers can have quality Christmas shopping with us this year as well,” says Carlsen.

The problems apply to the whole world, among other things The White House expressed concern Due to the shortage of items for Christmas shopping in the US as well.

Pressure: The world’s container shipping capacity has exploded. Here from the largest port in Europe, Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

can be sold

Nyheim at XXL says they are ready for this year’s frenetic rush, and that it is important for them to have a large selection and many brands.

– We will always try to find good alternatives for the customer if an item sells out. Then we have a close dialogue with our suppliers to follow up on the goods we have ordered. We also place new orders when necessary, says Neiheim.

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Bauer says they have also prepared by filling warehouses and making large purchases.

At the same time, there will be slightly uneven access to certain product groups and brands, so I recommend getting out a little early for Christmas shopping this year, says Director of Communications Siri Røhr-Staff.

Elkjøp also says there may be a shortage of the most popular items.

– There is a shortage of ingredients in the world, that means the goods will sometimes run out. We do what we can to secure the goods the Norwegian consumer needs, and buy what we get, says Elkjøp’s Tønnessen.

A small queue of people waited outside the Power Store during a Black Friday sale during the pandemic in 2020.

Large packages become more expensive

The price of shipping containers by sea has doubled during the pandemic. It can also mean expensive goods to consumers, unless the stores themselves can pay more for shipping themselves.

Shipping rates will of course affect prices in all markets, including the electronics industry, says Tonesen.

The gaming industry has also noticed higher shipping rates.

It shouldn’t be a problem to get the games you want to buy for Christmas, according to Lekia’s general manager, Espen Sandberg. But high-volume products have increased prices.

Big packages under the Christmas tree, like the Hot Wheels garage and Barbie’s house, are getting more expensive, says Sandberg.

It has historically proven difficult for retailers to send the full bill for increased costs and purchase prices to consumers, Harald Jachwitz Andersen, director of lead organization Virke, said in September.

The competition is global and fierce. I still think we’ll see some costs pass on to consumers now, and that the expected price growth from Statistics Norway may turn out to be somewhat lower, Andersen says.

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