Bay of Plenty Times
‘Buy local’ to get the gifts you want
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.”