Online electricals retailer AO World has issued a stock shortage warning for this Christmas, pointing to a lack of availability of electrical products such as the new consoles.
Coronavirus disruption and a shortage of delivery drivers has sparked a £10m loss between April and September AO World, which predicts things won’t get better any time soon.
AO World said shortages had been particularly acute in electronics, such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S, as well as iPhones.
The company said it was experiencing “meaningful supply chain challenges with poor availability in certain categories, particularly in our newer products where we have less scale, experience and leverage” ahead of the crucial Black Friday sales.
AO World pointed to the shortage of components for manufacturers – this relates to the global fight for supplies of semiconductor chips used in electronic devices.
AO World boss John Roberts told the Evening Standard availability of PS5 and Xbox Series X and S was “difficult” this Christmas.
The shortage has affected PC graphics cards, as well as supplies for consoles.
The pandemic caused a surge in PC and console sales with so many working from home and stuck indoors. New console releases by all three major companies also contributed to increased demand.
Both Sony and Microsoft have lamented the current global supply chain and manufacturing problem, acknowledging frustration from those who are struggling to buy a new console. Earlier this month, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan thanked fans for their patience as PS5 remains out of stock a year after launch.
UK retailer GAME has put measures in place to deter scalpers, another factor that’s been increasing demand.