Bay of Plenty Times

‘Buy lo­cal’ to get the gifts you want

- Business · Retail · Shopping · Consumer Goods · Industries · New Zealand · Black Friday & Cyber Monday

This year it won’t be the Grinch who stole Christ­mas, in­stead, the fes­tive sea­son looks like it could be spoiled by the Covid-19 pan­demic.

Im­port de­lays are rife due to mul­ti­ple is­sues in sup­ply chains and come as more Ki­wis look to buy prod­ucts on­line.

Re­tail NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Har­ford says Ki­wis should look to shop early and shop lo­cal.

“Work out what you need and, if you can, get to the shops or on­line early be­cause there are lim­its on sup­plies of prod­ucts,” he says.

“Christ­mas isn’t far away; it’s Black Fri­day [ to­mor­row], make the most of those deals when you’re about and shop­ping early.”

How­ever, peo­ple should be pre­pared to look for al­ter­na­tive prod­ucts if the gift they are seek­ing isn’t avail­able.

There have been mul­ti­ple is­sues in sup­ply chains this year due to Covid-19, Har­ford says.

There have been de­lays in pro­duc­tion, de­lays get­ting prod­ucts on ships, fewer ships trav­el­ling to Newzealand, and de­lays at get­ting prod­ucts off ships at New Zealand ports and to dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres.

“There’s go­ing to be a range of goods avail­able right through Christ­mas but what we’re see­ing is that there are par­tic­u­lar prod­ucts within cat­e­gories that might not be avail­able,” Har­ford says.

“We’re hear­ing of is­sues right across the board from fash­ion to footwear, home­ware to hard­ware. It’s not that there are no ham­mers avail­able, but it might be that the par­tic­u­lar brand of ham­mer might not be avail­able.”

Con­sumer NZ head of re­search Jes­sica Wil­son says peo­ple should al­ways be mind­ful of whothey are shop­ping with on­line.

“Just be­cause a web­site has a ‘.co.nz’ ad­dress, doesn’t mean the trader is based here. If you’re not sure the gift is right, ask the store if it of­fers ex­change cards.”

Ki­wis who buy prod­ucts from New Zealand re­tail­ers are pro­tected by the Con­sumer Guar­an­tees Act but not if they buy from over­seas.

Har­ford says re­tail­ers should be clear about their de­liv­ery win­dows and con­sumers could raise an is­sue un­der the act if prod­ucts don’t ar­rive on time.

“If you’re shop­ping off­shore from a for­eign web­site, you’re not cov­ered by New Zealand law. It’ll re­ally de­pend on the good­will of the re­tailer con­cerned,” he says.

“Our ad­vice is to shop lo­cal, sup­port those busi­nesses keep­ing Ki­wis em­ployed.”

Wil­son agrees, say­ing when re­tail­ers are re­spon­si­ble for de­liv­ery they need to make sure the goods ar­rive on time or within a rea­son­able time.

“If your item doesn’t ar­rive, you’re en­ti­tled to can­cel the or­der and re­quest a re­fund. You don’t have to set­tle for store credit.”

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