PANICKED shoppers are clearing the shelves for Christmas – even though there are still 74 days left.
Sales of frozen turkeys in Iceland are up 409 per cent year on year, and mince pies by ten per cent.
The chain is also launching its range of Christmas joints two weeks earlier to meet demand.
Meanwhile, the Toy Retailers’ Association is warning parents of toy shortages and price rises.
Customers fear stores won’t get enough stock delivered due to the lorry driver shortage, so some of them have gone to extremes.
Yasmin Harisha and Alley Einstein speak to three mums who have already stockpiled everything for Christmas.
‘I FILLED TWO TROLLIES WITH FESTIVE FOOD’
PART-TIME admin assistant Pat Smith, 26, has spent £2,000 stockpiling everything from snacks to drinks and gifts for Christmas.
Pat, who lives with her former partner and their 20-month-old daughter Rose in Grantham, Lancs, says: “Anyone who is not stockpiling now is bonkers as the country is wracked by fuel shortages, empty shelves and problems getting toys into the UK.
“For the last three weeks I’ve been visiting six local supermarkets and not just buying a pack of crisps but actual boxes with 24 packets in each.
“I put together a Christmas and New Year shopping list and went to the cheapest stores.
“I filled up two trollies per visit with festive food and drink. I even worked out when the stores got their deliveries and offered cheap items for sale.
“Included in my haul are more than 60 bottles of different flavoured fizzy drinks, boxes of beer, wine, candy canes and more than 200 packets of crisps for parties we’re planning with friends and family.
“I have also stocked up on chocolates, decorations, nuts, soda water and napkins by the box load.
“And I bought more than 100 toilet rolls in bulk as I believe the shops are going to run out.
“To pay for my shopping, I used £1,000 of my savings and put £1,000 on a credit card. Now I have to focus on paying it all off.
“It’s not selfish, it’s being prepared. We lived through Covid shortages so for me it’s a logical way of thinking.
“Since Boris Johnson announced petrol shortages, there has been a truck driver shortage and shelves have been empty in supermarkets. I knew I had to get sorted four months ahead of time.
“Now with more and more supermarket shelves being left empty and parents unable to get their kids gifts, I am glad I started stockpiling four weeks ago.
“My friends initially thought I was crazy. Now they are asking for the best places to buy items.”
‘I COULDN’T BEAR MY SON NOT HAVING GIFTS’
SINGLE mum Teia Verazzo has spent £1,650 on her haul.
The 25-year-old part-time letting agent, who lives in Stamford, Lincs, with two-year-old son Cole, says: “I made a list of everything I’d need for my Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals.
“I spent £150 on dinner items. I bought a chicken to feed eight people, a ham, a beef joint and two dozen pigs in blankets.
“For dessert, I have a Christmas pudding, an iced Christmas cake, roulade and mince pies.
“I’ve also spent a further £1,500 on presents, decorations, snacks, nappies, wipes, chocolates, and loo roll.
“I used £700 from my savings and the rest was spread between two credit cards.
“I can’t bear to think of my son not having the gifts he wants, or me not being able to give anything to my family.”
‘ADVICE TO PARENTS IS BUY NOW OR MISS OUT’
RACHEL MARSDEN, 43, has already spent £2,500 buying more than 300 Christmas gifts.
The former teaching assistant, who is divorced and lives with her children Louis, 24, Jake 19, and three-year-old Sienna in Leeds, says: “I had a feeling in July there’d be shortages due to Brexit and a lack of HGV drivers, so I bought early.
“My advice to parents is buy now or miss out. I have stockpiled 100 gifts for Sienna so far, including Barbies and the Sylvanian Families Amusement Park which has now sold out.
“Included for the boys is a PlayStation 5 plus games, controllers and a streaming kit.
“Jake is a Build-A-Bear collector and I managed to get the entire Pokémon collection. I also have all my decorations and wrapping paper.
“To save the money I need, I have gone without myself this year. Right now it is the survival of the fittest.”