Some of the most popular toys and clothing styles could be out of stock by mid-December, especially at stores where they’ve been heavily discounted.

And retailers will still use price-cutting to attract consumers. But some of the best sales last only a few hours or are limited to the stores’ best customers.

That’s the view from the experts at BMO Capital Markets.

Some of the most popular toys could sell out early as many retailers placed cautious initial orders, hoping to avoid getting stuck with excess inventory, said BMO toy analyst Gerrick Johnson.

Toy makers have stocked additional items to avoid last year’s problem of missing sales because re-orders take so long to fulfill from China, Johnson said. But there could still be gaps in the timing of deliveries, he warned. Things like Squinkies, Zoobles, Monster High dolls, Disney’s Chuggington train, Bey Blades and Dance Star Mickey are all selling out at times, Johnson said.

In clothing, the sweater is expected to outsell the gift card for the first time in years, the analysts said.

“Consumers are saying gift cards are falling in favour a bit this year. They’re shifting back to more traditional gifts, especially accessories, jewellery and sweaters,” said analyst John Morris.

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