Johannesburg’s record-breaking cold temperatures have seen a sharp increase in demand for electric blankets in particular. Retailers are running out of stock and those that have already sold out are unlikely to resupply.
On Thursday, 22 July, Johannesburg had its coldest day in roughly 10 years, temperatures plunged to -7 C, way lower than the previous record of -6.3 recorded on 19 July 1995. South Africa broke a whopping 19 cold weather records as a freezing cold front and snow swept parts of the country this week.
The South African Weather Service warned that 22 July would be the coldest night of the year in some places over the inland parts of the country into Friday 23 July 2021.
Mr Price Home marketing director told Business Insider that their electric blankets are not manufactured locally, and with the recent port closures and impact on flow of stock, they will not be back in stock for at least 12 weeks.
“We are sold out of electric blankets. There may be one or two here and there in remote locations, but technically speaking, we have sold all the stock brought into the business for Winter 21,” he said.
Dis-Chem’s executive director on the other hand said that while the recent cold weather may have contributed to a surge in demand for electric blankets and other winter products, this is a fairly complex category, with several other factors influencing supply and demand.
“Each winter has its cold spells, and we see sales from April onwards as customers purchase in anticipation of cold weather. We have also felt the impact of shipping routes and the global shortage of shipping containers which impacted our suppliers who experienced a materials shortage,” she said.
Clicks said heaters and electric blankets are seasonal items, and they will not be ordering any further stock of these items for the remainder of the season.