Are toy shops like Argos, Smyths and The Entertainer essential and are they open during second lockdown?
ALL non-essential shops across the country have now closed their doors as England enters a second lockdown – and that includes toy shops.
Like the first lockdown, the Government have released information about stores that will be allowed to remain open, like supermarkets, pharmacies and garden centres.
Toy shops have shut just as they did during the first nationwide lockdown, but many are still offering click and collect and home delivery so you'll still be able to shop online for those Christmas gifts.
To buy favourites like LEGO, LOL Dolls and Nerf guns, shoppers will need to plan ahead for online shopping, leaving aside extra time, and even money in some cases, for their delivery.
The strict new measures were announced by the government as coronavirus infection rises at an alarming rate.
The lockdown is expected to last until December 2, but they could continue even longer than planned, throwing Christmas shopping into chaos.
However, prime minister Boris Johnson has said four weeks of restrictions would be enough if everyone worked together to put Covid “back in its box”.
In the meantime, we've asked the big toy stores how they will operate during lockdown and whether they will be offering click and collect or home deliveries:
Standalone Argos and those within Sainsbury's stores in England are now closed, except if you're picking up an order which you've made and paid for online.
You won't be able to make a purchase in store and when collecting an online order at the store, you will have to wait outside for the package to be handed to you.
You won't be able to return any items to standalone Argos stores, but you can at Argos stores within a Sainsburys' supermarket.
Argos has extended its returns policies so you won't miss out on getting your money back if you can't get to a store.
For purchases made from 18 October onwards you have until 24 January 2021.
Argos stores in Wales are closed until November 9 and concessions within Sainsbury's supermarkets are also closed, but pre-paid online orders can be collected as part of your essential food shop.
Stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland remain open.
Online delivery to your home is still available, including Fast Track from £3.95.
BargainMax stores are now closed but delivery and click & collect will still be available throughout the lockdown.
The toy giant is using myHermes Parcelshops for click & collect services throughout lockdown.
Home delivery costs £1.99 for an order under £4.99 and is free for orders above this price, while next day services will be available at £2.99 if the order is under £39.99 and is free for orders above that.
On whether deliveries could be delayed, marketing chief Daniel Mckay said "fingers crossed" the delivery network holds up but he added that the first lockdown had fortunately made firms invest and prepare.
Stores in England are now shut for the lockdown period. Stores in Wales remain closed. Scotland and Northern Ireland stores remain open.
Home delivery and click & collect is still available from the 150 stores nationwide during lockdown.
Click & collect is free but only available for orders of £15 or over and should be ready to collect in three working days.
Deliveries to your home are free when you spend more than £49.99 and £3.99 if you spend less. Express delivery for the next working day costs £5.99.
The chain said it would be running deals throughout lockdown with up to 75% off on some sales.
If your basket is eligible for Asda toy collection, you can pick up your package in Asda stores nationwide as well as myHermes Parcel shops for £4.99.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer said: "There is concern by retailers that courier services, some of which are already said to be operating at capacity, will not be able to fulfil orders if a big proportion of toy sales now moves online.
"We are seeing more toy shortages than we have for many years. We’re asking our customers to plan ahead and shop now for Christmas to avoid disappointment.”
Smyths stores in England are now closed during the second lockdown.
But you can get home delivery and click & collect is available as normal throughout lockdown with pick up at ParcelShop which has 4,500 locations across the UK.
Stores in Wales are closed until Monday November 9 2020 and home delivery is available, but not click & collect.
Stores in Scotland and Northern Ireland are open and operating as normal.
We've asked Smyths if deliveries face delays with an increase in demand.
Standard shipping takes between two and six days and costs:
- free on orders over £19
- £2.99 for orders of between £10 and £19
- £4.99 on orders under £10
Express delivery takes 1-3 working days and costs:
- £2.99 on orders over £25
- £6.99 on orders of between £10 and £25
- £8.99 on orders under £10
Larger items can cost more and delivery may be longer and pricier if you live remotely on an island.
ParcelShop click & collect takes between two and four days and costs:
- free for orders over £19.98
- £2.99 for orders of between £10 and £19.98
- £4.99 for orders under £10
Supermarkets remain open during lockdown because they are classed as an essential shop and all items in stock will be available to buy, with no aisles blocked off like in Wales.
From McDonald's to KFC, we explain which food chains are still allowing delivery and takeaway during the second national lockdown.
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