Ottawa retailer urges shoppers to buy Christmas presents now

Holiday gifts are seen in this file photo. (Lucie Liz/Pexels)

Three weeks before Christmas, an Ottawa toy store owner is urging parents to start shopping for everyone on their list now.

"If you really want something specific and you've heard about it and know we've had it, I would get it now then waiting even until next week," says Patti Taggart, owner of Tag Along Toys.

"I think this weekend is going to be a really busy shopping weekend."

Ongoing global supply chain issues are expected to have an impact on the availability of many products this holiday season.  The Canadian Toy Association warned in October that on top of the supply chain issues, inventory challenges and retail product shortages means some toys may be harder to find and more expensive.

"If there's a must-have item on your child's wish list, we are encouraging all Canadian families to shop earlier for toys this year, and to not wait until late November or December, to ensure that you'll be able to deliver on those coveted gifts you and your child desire," said Andrew Wagar of the Canadian Toy Association.

In an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts, Taggart says once the items are gone, there is no chance to restock the shelves in time for Christmas.

"This is the first time in probably in 20 years I've been in business that – like Dec. 1, sort of Dec. 2 normally I can do a replenishing order of things. This year, it's been terrible, like there's been nothing," said Taggart.

Some companies, like puzzle company Ravensburger, have already let retailers know they will not be shipping new products until 2022.

Taggart says the hot gift items this year include The Five Second Rule game that Ellen DeGeneres plays on her television show, Harry Potter Jenga and Lava Lamps.

The owner of Tag Along Toys says she currently has a lot of products on the shelves, so don't wait until closer to Christmas to buy your gifts.

"I would not put it off much longer because the stock is going down. Yesterday I came in here and went, 'Oh My Gosh' after being away for a day."