Supermarkets in Christmas toy price war

Caroline Cassidy

If you haven't already begun Christmas shopping, you may want to start now. The supermarkets have launched into something of a price war as the festive season approaches and are slashing the price of toys by up to 60 per cent.

Children play with one of this Christmas' hottest toys - the Kidizoom VideoCam
Children play with one of this Christmas' hottest toys - the Kidizoom VideoCam

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First to offer customers a cut-price Crimbo is Sainsbury's. Starting today, the supermarket chain is offering 50 per cent off some of this year's best-selling toys in a sale that runs for a week.

Sainsbury's claim their huge reductions could save parents up to £18 million on toys alone this Christmas.

For instance, the Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear figure will be £19.99, down from £39.99, while parents whose children have been pleading for the Thomas the Tank Engine train set will be pleased to hear that the toy is the subject of the biggest price cut, selling at Sainsbury's for £69.99 reduced from £139.99.

And Asda and Tesco look set to follow suit. Though they are currently selling the top 12 toys (as named by the Toy Retailers Association) at just under the recommended price at present, both promise to slash prices by 50 or 60 per cent in the run-up to Christmas.

But Gary Grant, chairman of the Toy Retailers Association, called the price cuts "stupidity".

Speaking to the Daily Mail, he added: "These price reductions are taking the figure below the trade price. Sainsbury's will be making a loss on every single one of these toys they sell.

"They are hoping to drag people in to the shops and make up any loss through sales of food and petrol."

That may be so, but we doubt there will be many parents, or children for that matter, complaining.

What do you think? Are the supermarkets mad to slash prices to such an extent? Leave your comments below...