A Cottingham garden centre owner has warned that supply issues will mean this Christmas might be a little different for all of us when it comes to decking the halls.

Jane Jones, of Southwood Garden Centre, is in the midst of gearing up for the festive season and has already encountered many supply issues that mean her shop floor will be a little different this year.

Jane revealed some suppliers have delivered only two thirds of what she ordered back in January and others have given her slightly altered stock with a "like it or lump it" attitude.

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She also said that the global shortage of space on cargo ships meant that bulky items such as artificial Christmas trees coming from abroad would likely be in short supply and recommended people get their orders in early if they can.

Jane said: "There are issues getting bulkier items transported, it is a global thing, the space is in high demand and costs more at the moment.

"We've already seen it this summer with the garden furniture that bulky stock is taking a lot longer to come in and some things that aren't easy to store small have become so much more expensive because of the shipping costs.

Southwood Garden Centre gearing up for Christmas 2021
Southwood Garden Centre gearing up for Christmas 2021

"Some of our wicker tree baskets that were £15 last year are now £50 and that is all because of the shipping costs that have been added on, people aren't going to buy those things when the price has gone up so much.

"We've already had delays on some of the orders for Christmas that we made in a January and it is the larger and bulkier items that aren't getting to us as quickly.

"The big one for us is artificial trees. we've not got them in stock yet and I'm not sure when they'll be arriving, I'd say get your order in for them but there is nothing to order at the moment."

Jane said the widespread supply issues are just one of the many problems facing retailers this Christmas with the legacy effects of Covid-19 on manufacturing also taking their toll.

She said: "From some of our suppliers we've been offered about two thirds of what we ordered and it is a take or it leave it kind of offer.

"We've obviously got to have stock so we take it, some things have got more expensive at the last minute too, we try to absorb as much cost as we can but things are going to be more expensive this year.

"It is little things too, like flashing lights, we've got a shipment of lights coming but we've already been told that most of them won't be flashing lights.

"The multifunction chips that make those work are in short supply all over so you'll not be seeing too many twinkly lights this Christmas for that reason."

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Despite the issues that they are facing Jane remained upbeat about this Christmas and said she expected people to be in good spirits.

She said: "Last year was one of the best years that we've had sales-wise, lots of people were buying up lights to decorate their houses and it felt like a big blowout after all we'd been through.

"I think it will be the same this year whatever the outcome of the Covid stuff is, if we're free to have people round as normal people will be decorating inside, if we're locked down again then people will want lights for their houses.

"We all need a bit of Christmas these years more than most."

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