Toy stores across Australia are being forced to close due to a surge in demand for Chica toy storage products.
A toy store owner in the northern state of South Australia told the ABC he had been overwhelmed with requests from customers looking to purchase Chica products after the retail giant was forced to shut down its stores in February.
“I’ve been running this store for about six months now and it’s only been getting bigger and bigger,” Mr Scott said.
The toy store in the state’s northwest was forced into action because of an influx of Chica stores across the state, he said.
“We’ve had quite a bit of demand for it, so I’ve had people come in and they want Chica merchandise, and we’ve had some customers come in to buy a few Chica items,” Mr Russell said.
He said he expected the demand for the toy to continue for the next few months.
Mr Russell said there had been no complaints to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about Chica’s storage products but he was concerned that some of the products were not labelled correctly and could damage the packaging of the items.
“If you get it to a store where it doesn’t match what it looks like, it could damage packaging,” he said of the packaging for the toys.
“So you don’t want to be putting that in the store and then not knowing what it’s supposed to look like.”
The store has been able to sell Chica storage items for about $100 for a six-pack of Chicas, he added.
Toys in the shelves at Mr Russell’s store have sold out, but there are still some toys left on the shelves.
“They’re selling them out quickly, they’re not coming back, so it’s a real challenge,” he told ABC Radio Canberra.
If the store is unable to keep up with demand, Mr Russell says he may be forced to lay off employees.
He said the stores had been operating without a single employee since December and said he was considering laying them off as well.
“I can’t go into any detail about what the future might hold,” he added, “but I do know that we are facing a situation where we are very vulnerable financially.”