Aussies are being warned not to leave their Christmas shopping until the last minute as retailers continue to grapple with supply chain issues.
The Australian Retailers Association, which represents more than 50,000 shopfronts, urged shoppers to plan early to avoid disappointment.
Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra said tightened Covid restrictions in China and the temporary closure of one of the world’s busiest ports has prompted deep concern about the further impact on global supply chains.
“Supply chain issues have been an ongoing concern for Australian retailers throughout the pandemic and it’s likely to be compounded by these latest developments, in particular as the busy Christmas shopping season approaches,” Mr Zahra said.
Retailers had reported the capping of incoming flights had put significant strain on shipping, he said.
At the same time, container costs had escalated up to four times their usual rate, a factor likely to have a flow-on impact on retail prices.
“The key message for consumers is don’t leave your Christmas shopping till the last minute,” he said.
“If you’re purchasing items online, give plenty of time for your product to be shipped and delivered to avoid disappointment.”
Discount chain The Reject Shop, which has more than 350 stores nationally, said it took an unexpected $9m hit from international shipping costs for the 2021 financial year.
Costs would likely remain high for the rest of the year, the company said earlier this month.
Information sourced from here.