Second lockdown triggers Christmas panic-buying as fears grow toys will run out

Brits are panic-buying Christmas gifts amid fears of children's toys will run out.

Families desperate to avoid upsetting children formed massive queues outside toy stores today.

There are calls for rules to stop them stock-piling amid fears retailers won't be able to sell toys fast enough after the second lockdown is lifted.

Meanwhile, garden centres are seeing a boom in trade after being deemed 'essential retail' under the new rules kicking in on Thursday.

Industry experts are warning big retailers accepting online click and collect orders will face a crush when the lockdown is lifted on December 2.

Social-distancing could see shops unable to stock popular toys like Lego, LOL Surprise! dolls and Nerf guns fast enough.

Couriers may also struggle to deliver the gifts in time for Christmas due to pent-up demand, it is feared.

In the first seven months of the year, sales were up 7%, added the market researchers NPD.

Snaking queues have been forming outside Smyths toy stores and supermarkets after Boris Johnson's lockdown plans were leaked on Saturday.

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Brits were warned not to panic-buy after a massive queue for toy retailer Smyths was seen at the Friary Retail Park and supermarkets across Plymouth on Sunday.

PlymouthLive reporter Katie Timms reported traffic being "absolutely rammed" through the centre yesterday saying: "I've never seen it so busy.

"It looked like it was all for the supermarkets.

  • Desperate Brits rush to shops to panic buy as national lockdown looms

"There was only a small queue to get into The Range when I arrived, but when I left it was queued from the door all the way back to the Garden Centre, so the same length of the car park! I've never seen such a long queue there."

Meanwhile, parents across the country took to social media as they raced to buy Christmas gifts.

Geri Guirao commented on the Home Bargains' Facebook page: "Shout out to Selby store – I hope you are stopping stockpiling and putting limits on items again. Last time we had empty shelves and vulnerable people going without You can stop it in its tracks NOW. Don't let a single one your customers down this time."

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Siobhan Taylor tweeted: "Who’d of thought I’m gonna be spending my last Three days before lockdown panic buying at the garden centre all the baubles and Christmas decos."

Another Twitter user said: "I'm not going to be #panicbuying bog roll. I'm going to my local garden centre tomorrow to see if I can get some new bits for my mini Christmas village before they close for lockdown."

A third said: "My daughter said today that Smyths toy shop was absolutely packed today, everyone buying before lockdown. We left a garden centre today as there was a queue to get in!"

A fourth added: "Since when is a garden centre essential retail?! Have I missed something? #Lockdown2 #lockdownUK #lockdown"

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