ECONOMY

Christmas toys price hike expected, warns industry boss


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he price of toys is set to rise in the lead up to Christmas, the boss of a British toy company has warned, as the cost of delays and shortages hit shoppers’ pockets.

Joel Berkowitz, a director of The London Toy Company, said parents are likely to face forking out more for presents this year as businesses try and allay some of the expense of shipping items to the UK, which has risen dramatically amid the global pandemic.

“Toys this Christmas are going to be more expensive, and that’s if they’re even in stock,” Mr Berkowitz told PA.

“We are massively affected by the shortages. We have clients wanting to place orders now and we just can’t deliver it.

“One of our customers is Amazon and they placed a massive order this morning but we can’t fulfil it, so it’s killing our business. It’s a complete mess.”

Problems are beginning at the ports in key manufacturing countries such as China those in the toy industry have explained, where there is a lack of empty shipping containers – an after effect of a global shutdown on trade during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Companies are now having to wait at least three weeks for a container to become available and then the price to have their goods shipped is as much as eight times the normal rate.

Congestion at UK ports, then a lack of HGV drivers to transport the goods to warehouses, causes further delays.

The tax companies are expected to pay to import the goods is also higher due to it being calculated based on manufacturing and shipping costs.

Mr Bercowitz said: “In any given year we bring in about 30 containers which previously would’ve cost around £30,000. This year it’s going to cost us £150,000, possibly more.

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