Consoles disappear from Christmas catalogs as department stores hesitate to acknowledge lack of stock – CVBJ

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Updated Wednesday, November 24, 2021 – 02:09 AM

Angel and Felipe have managed to buy an Xbox Series X and a PlayStation 5 over the past few months. They compare it to practically winning the lottery and by no means was it as easy as going to a store and getting a unit. Microsoft and Sony, respective makers of the game consoles, recognize problems in the supply chain. Meanwhile, department stores are reluctant to admit that there will be hardly any units for anyone who wants to gift one for Christmas.

“I discovered that some were on sale and I logged in with my cell phone and my computer at the same time to access with two IP addresses and have more options,” describes Felipe. The high volume of visits, remember, made it virtually impossible to navigate the page and when I was about to throw in the towel – “I told myself to try three more times and went to the third time “- I managed to get one. the virtual shopping cart. It wasn’t even the model that interested him the most.

Angel, meanwhile, got a PlayStation 5 through his bank store and also in a bundle that included, like it or not, a game and an additional controller. Knowing that they were going to receive a payout, he asked his manager to let him know, although eventually and before his silence he had to resort to a Telegram channel and log in at 7 a.m. “The downside is that it was funded by noses,” he explains, and paid a total of around 750 euros.

According to Bloomberg recently, Sony made about a million units less than expected for the PlayStation 5 launched a year ago. Its big rival, Microsoft, also cannot guarantee the stock of its Xbox Series X – you can find the Xbox Series S, a less powerful version and without a drive – and the corridors of any mall, specialized or not. , reflect this reality. Add to this that the shortage has attracted speculators, who use bots to try to buy any unit that appears, even momentarily, on the internet and then resell it for much more money.

“We will restock the Xbox Series X | S this year, but demand is still strong, ”said a Microsoft spokesperson without giving further details. “We are working as quickly as possible with our manufacturing and retail partners to expedite production and shipping to meet unprecedented demand. Other less relevant consoles – the most prominent is Valve’s Steam Deck, but it also happened to Play Date – had to delay a launch at the end of this year due to supply chain issues.

This shortage is already a reality in the face of Black Friday and threatens the Christmas campaign. So much so that the consoles do not even appear in the Christmas catalog of El Corte Ingls or Mediamarkt. On the sites of these stores or of Fnac, during this research, the aforementioned S Series appears accordingly, the only new generation console available and only for the moment: sources in the sector predict that it will become the gift of this Christmas , although it comes in the form of a second course.

All of these stores were contacted by EL MUNDO regarding supply in the coming weeks and none responded to questions. Officially, the sector uses foresight: supplies are made months in advance, precisely to avoid this type of crisis. The problem is, in this case, those who should have provided the consoles have at no time been able to produce them at the desired rate, and it doesn’t look like they will be able to do so in the immediate future. The tub cannot be filled without water coming out of the tap.

“The stores do not have it because the companies do not have any”, summarizes the director of a publication specializing in video games on condition of anonymity. “At Sony in Spain the PS5 arrive with a dropper and they see them being distributed, as they can, among the stores … but there are stab wounds to reserve,” he continues. So the only solution for those looking for this gift is to get on a waiting list and, as the name suggests, wait.

“It’s the fucked up thing for this Christmas; people who wanted a PS5 must have tried it in the summer, ”he says. In fact, he thinks it will be the ironic case that the Xbox Series S can become the star Christmas present, as it will be the only alternative for many. This expert also points to the absence of the new PlayStation in catalogs like El Corte Ingls – “the bible toys of kings” -, which does not appear “because they cannot guarantee that they will have it. “.

From FACUA they explain in a simple way why a catalog without PS5: “It will be false advertising”, he explains. Rubn Sanchez, general secretary of the association. “If they advertise products they don’t have, they’ll be breaking the law,” Snchez says. And when it comes to Black Friday deals, remember, the same thing happens, so “if you sell a laptop now at 40% off, you can’t later claim that you’re out of stock. stock ”. Video consoles, in any case, have all but disappeared from the catalogs of this campaign, which focuses on other tech products that have also been affected by the microprocessor crisis, albeit on a smaller scale.

According to EL MUNDO, a worker present during a recent interview with the employees of a large supermarket chain, the manager of this one warned them that this year there would be problems with some phone models ahead of upcoming campaigns (Apple is another big company that admitted it was affected by the chip shortage). Last year it happened with computers, but the company has factored this into their forecast for that and they are not afraid of shortages. In the case of the PlayStation 5, the measurements didn’t matter: “there are neither plans», Explains this employee.

Blame it, he points out, with a Sony which could not produce at the rate of demand. At first they expected there to be units in stock waiting to go on sale before Christmas, but they already know they won’t.

In toys, better not to wait

While the supply crisis has hit the toy industry as well, they don’t expect shortages as big as they are with video consoles. “The problems we have are global in nature and concern us all, but the degree of intensity is not the same,” he reassures. José Antonio Pasteur, president of the Spanish Association of Toy Manufacturers.

Their supply, he explains, is also done at one year – if not more – and they are already used to working with a very seasonal market, like Spain, which concentrates 50% of sales over the last six weeks of the year. ‘year. . . “We work well in advance”, summarizes Pasteur.

“This anticipation has partly alleviated the shortage of electronic chips,” explains the manager. Either way, he points out that there may be manufacturers who have been affected. Either way, remember that seasonality traditionally results in a shortage of certain products because it is very difficult to “refine forecasts exactly with market behavior”.

That is to say that what is becoming very fashionable, has become rare in recent weeks and this 2021, in addition, it will be more difficult to replace the star products. “This year, it is likely to happen a little more, because these last operations of the industry can be compromised by the congestion of the supply”, contextualizes Pastor.

“It will be specific and specific things; therefore, we cannot speak of a shortage in the market, but we know that specific products are going to be lacking, ”he says. Faced with this, the solution proposed by the association is, quite simply, to advance clear purchases: “The sooner the better”.

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