Shortages: “buy your Christmas gifts now!”

The boss of German sports equipment manufacturer Puma on Wednesday warned of the impact of supply problems on Christmas shopping and recommended buying his gifts now to avoid unpleasant surprises.

• Read also: Before Christmas, traders scramble to stock the shelves

• Read also: A shortage of goods that could last until 2022

“As I also told my wife, if you want to buy Christmas presents, you have to do it now,” Bjorn Gulden warned on a conference call.

“In general, and it’s no joke, I think there will be shelves more empty than they should be for Christmas shopping,” he added.

Global supply issues are currently slowing the economic recovery after the pandemic to the point of raising fears of a shortage of holiday merchandise.

In addition to traffic jams in ports, where ships wait to be able to unload, businesses are suffering the effects of production delays, due to lockdowns linked to COVID-19 in Asia in some regions where key factories are located.

For Puma, an outbreak of infections in Vietnam resulted in a production interruption of around ten weeks.

“The fourth quarter will be when supply is our biggest problem,” said Gulden, especially as “freight capacities are limited and prices have skyrocketed.”

“I believe that the supply for some products, including in our sector, will be lower than the demand for the next two quarters” even if “the product flows improve again,” he added.

Toy seller Hasbro also warned Tuesday that it failed to deliver the equivalent of some 100 million orders in the third quarter due to “supply chain disruptions, including limited capacity (of transport) and congestion in ports ”.

In the United States, Walmart and other department store chains have chartered their own boats to bypass chaotic delays at West Coast ports.

Others have chosen to receive their orders earlier than usual, to launch their Christmas promotions in advance or to abandon maritime transport for the air.

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