Start Your Christmas Shopping Yesterday As Supply Chains Lengthen

Shopping locally is win-win for consumers and businesses.


HAS anyone noticed that items on shelves in supermarkets and shops are spread out a bit more than before, and more and more items seem to be unavailable?

There have been several warnings in national media recently that, because of COVID-19, supply chains around the country and around the world are slowing down.

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Australia Post, for example, is telling customers to ‘Send as early as possible’, saying ‘Tis the season to be early’.

According to the dates for posting on the Australia Post website, standard Christmas parcels to the United Kingdom, for example, should be sent by 26 November and economy air parcels should have already gone.

Some items from overseas will not arrive in time for Christmas, even if ordered right now.

However, there are easy solutions.

The first one is to buy local.

The Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce has a ‘Go Local First’ directory on its website that can be searched.

There are many small businesses in our local streets that offer alternatives to national and multinational chains.

Then, there are many markets, where Coffs Coast residents can buy beautifully and lovingly made/grown products that cannot be purchased anywhere else.

A second solution is ‘bricks, not clicks’ – buy from an actual shop, not online.

The advantage of buying from a shop is, obviously, that you get the gift when you buy it, and don’t rely on delivery, but, of course, this only works when you will see the recipient at or before Christmas.

And, the golden rule of shopping in an actual shop is ‘buy now, or regret later’ – we have all had the experience of returning to buy an item we want only to find that it is sold out.

A third option is to ‘think outside the box’.

Experiences are easy to purchase online, whether it is a cinema or theatre voucher, or something more physical.

Going online expands choices and delivery of vouchers is immediate.

Creating a gift is a wonderful thing to do, whether you are talented enough to craft something, or maybe put together a hamper, or basket of gifts from local sources.

Whatever we are thinking about doing for Christmas gifts, the time to do it is now (unless it involves toilet paper).


By Andrew VIVIAN

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