Warnings of Christmas chaos prompt festive panic-buying

Festive food, drinks and decorations are disappearing from shelves as shoppers stock up early for Christmas.

With Marks & Spencer and Iceland reporting soaring demand for artificial trees and fairy lights, people seem to be thinking past Halloween and Bonfire Night to December 25.

It comes amid warnings that supermarket supply chains could snap under the weight of festive demand.

This weekend, Boris Johnson admitted that food shortages could last until Christmas.

READ MORE: Turkey trouble could mean gaps on shelves at Christmas

Aldi claimed to be selling 1500 turkey crowns a day, four times its usual amount at this time of year.

Its Christmas pudding sales are reportedly up by 45 per cent.

Aldi UK and Ireland boss Giles Hurley urged customers not to panic-buy, adding that he did not expect problems in the run-up to a “bumper Christmas”.

“Supply is clearly a concern for the industry given the current challenges, but our teams have been planning this Christmas since the start of the year,” he told The Times.

“We’re not concerned at present about supply issues.”

British Meat Processors Association boss Nick Allen said Britain’s butcher shortage meant this year’s turkeys were likely to be from the Continent.

There was speculation last month that the Prime Minister had sought an “emergency” deal to import turkeys from Brazil.

Waitrose already has 112,000 customers booked in for Christmas deliveries, roughly double compared to this time last year.

Earlier this week, Morrisons chairman Andrew Higginson tried to quell Christmas supply fears.

He said that the risks were “overblown” and pledged the supermarket would “deliver a great Christmas for customers”.

However, he is expected to leave the Big 4 grocer later this month.

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