The arrival of Christmas is fraught with uncertainty in Spain for another of the sectors that make up a large part of its sales at this time of year, namely the toy industry.
The Andalucian Regional Minister of Economy Rogelio Velasco, did not rule out the possibility that the supply crisis that is currently being experienced could also affect the supply of toys for Christmas in Spain and that some products could be out of stock.
Velasco made special reference to toys that need technological parts to function, which are mainly manufactured in Asia, who are having issues with microchips.
“In order for the dolls to cry or say ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy,’ they need to have these electronics inside the toy,” Velasco explained yesterday in an interview, pointing out that Spanish manufacturers produce the toy but need these types of elements to arrive from abroad, and it is at this point that problems can arise in terms of getting them to the shops in time.
In addition, he added that “there may be problems in the supply of toys, among other products, because microprocessors are now in all the electronics of mobiles, television sets and music.”
Meanwhile, some of the main toy store chains have ruled out, for the moment, that there could be a shortage for this season. Only some of them recognise that there could be a greater number of toys available of certain models and that others may arrive at short notice in view of the Christmas sales.
“We currently have 70 containers in the water that we know will arrive at the end of November or the beginning of December when it is normal for all the material to be in the warehouses by July or August,” explained one of the sources consulted.
Another problem encountered this year has been the length of the journeys to move the containers from Asia and their price. Specifically, some containers have gone from costing $1,500 to around $9,000, while the journey time has gone from an average of 30 days to 50 days.
“It’s not a manufacturing problem, it’s a transport problem,” explains this businessman.
In addition, toys that are larger in size also have the disadvantage due to the significant increase in the price of transport containers means that the impact of this added cost on the toys means that prices have to rise.
Despite these problems, they estimate that 90 per cent of the toys in their campaign will be available without any problems.
Another important chain of toy shops assures that, in their case, they will be able to stock their entire Christmas range this year, and they assure that they have had to order production well in advance to avoid the problems being experienced at the moment.
In both cases, they have their own manufacturing catalogue, so they are less dependent on products manufactured by third parties. This gives them a certain freedom when it comes to placing orders without depending on other companies for their own brands and managing their own transport or the type of toys they can choose for the main sales campaigns of the year.
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