Sudden closure of shops is more likely to leave husbands and boyfriends in the lurch because they often leave gift-buying to the last minute, surveys show
- Surveys suggest men tend to leave buying gifts for partner until the last minute
- Department stores routinely filled with men gripped by panic on Christmas Eve
- Now families face gaps under tree on Christmas as toy shops have also shut
- A wave of new online orders is expected this week from parents and relatives
The sudden closure of many shops is expected to hit men in relationships particularly hard.
Surveys suggest they tend to leave buying gifts for their wife or girlfriend until the last minute.
On Christmas Eve, department stores are routinely filled with men gripped by panic as they try to find a decent present – and they are willing to spend large sums to get one.
But this year, finding something suitable in Tesco, B&Q or the local petrol station shop may prove something of a stretch in Tier Four.
Surveys suggest men tend to leave buying Christmas gifts for their wife or girlfriend until the last minute but this year, finding something suitable in Tier Four may make things even harder. (Stock image)
However, the partners of these men may not be the only ones to miss out.
Millions of families face gaps under the tree on Christmas morning as toy shops have also had to shut.
A wave of new online orders is expected from parents and relatives desperate to get presents before Friday. But there are fears retailers and the courier system will be unable to cope.
Mountains of online purchases are already sitting in sorting offices and warehouses waiting to be delivered.
Courier industry experts warned there were already an estimated 200million more online orders in the parcel delivery system this year before the last-minute rush.
David Jinks, of home delivery firm ParcelHero, said: ‘There are likely to be a lot of disappointed faces on Christmas morning.
‘Millions of people will have had their shopping plans disrupted. Parcels will arrive but not necessarily in time for the big day.
‘Christmas isn’t cancelled but warn your kids it might be postponed.’
Gary Grant, the founder of The Entertainer, said: ‘My chin hit the floor when the announcement was made. A lot of people have been caught unawares. They had been planning to buy items this week.’
The company will be offering click and collect from around 50 outlets closed because of Tier 4 restrictions, however sales are expected to be down by around 80per cent at these outlets. These are toys people will need to find elsewhere.
He said: ‘We have doubled internet packing ability for Monday with our partners. Customers will be able to shop with us on the internet and we expect a big increase in demand for express delivery.
‘We are working around the clock to meet orders. Tuesday lunchtime is our last order time for guaranteed delivery, but we will do our very best to get items to people even if they order after that point.’
It comes as millions of families face gaps under the tree on Christmas morning as toy shops have also had to shut. (Stock image)
Mr Grant said: ‘People might be disappointed. The industry does not have a shortage of toys, the disappointment will be that people won’t get exactly what they wanted, or the particular colour of toy they wanted.
‘Baby Yoda is this year’s can’t find toy and we have also seem huge demand for 1,000 piece jigsaws.
‘We have sold as many of these jigsaws in the last week as we would normally do over ten years.’
Looking ahead, he fears the Tier 4 lockdown will be extended.
Mr Grant said: ‘Pessimistically, I think that by Christmas all our stores will be closed as part of a national lockdown and I suspect it could go on for between four and eight weeks, possibly even 12 weeks.
‘Right now, as we would have done during the war, we need to be linking arms. We want to make sure we do all we can to bring a smile to a child’s face this Christmas.’
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