‘Strange’ $8 Woolies item flying of shelves
This year more than ever Aussies have turned to DIY projects around the house - including gardening - to help keep them entertained and occupied during lockdown.
And now that spring is upon us, with people at home more, gardening and floral categories have grown almost 40 per cent more at Woolworths and almost 20 per cent more at BIG W than last year.
But while flowering plants such as lavender and azaleas are proving popular, it appears Aussies have turned their attention to a more unique way to help jazz up their outdoor spaces.
"Stranger fact: We've already sold more than 60,000 meerkat statues so far this spring," Woolworths Australia CEO Brad Banducci revealed in his monthly newsletter.
Those keen to get their hands on the mini statues better be quick though, as a Woolworths spokesperson told news.com.au they're selling fast.
"The meerkat statues have been exceptionally popular with our customers as our entire stock has nearly sold out," a Woolworths spokesperson said.
The 18 different statues were released as part of the supermarket giant's spring collection in August. They were available last year as well, and avid gardeners have being raving about the "adorable" meerkats - which include a princess, baby shark, fishman, soldier, fireman and superhero.
"How adorable are these meerkat statues currently in Woolworths? Lots of different ones and $8 each," one woman posted on Facebook alongside a snap of her two buys.
"My two new garden gnomes. Well Christmas meerkats really. Found in Woolworths, $8 each I think," another person wrote in December.
In fact, despite the retailer doubling its order of meerkat statues this year, demand has been through the roof, selling the equivalent of last year's stock in the first week of this year's collection.
The garden ornaments, which are 22cm x 11cm x 9cm, are sold for $8 each with the 'groom' meerkat already selling out online.
"Does anyone know where I can purchase the bride and groom meerkats? Have looked everywhere - any help appreciated," a Queensland man recently asked on Facebook.
Woolworths Australia responded to the man's post saying the items "have not been deleted from our store".
"So we ask that you keep your eyes peeled for when they arrive back onto our shelves again."
If you missed out on your favourite, fear not as Woolworths told news.com.au it will be introducing a new Halloween line of limited-edition meerkat statues on October 2.
The ornaments aren't the only Woolies items in demand.
The retail giant recently released 100 each of its "ultra rare" Disney+ Ooshies and one shopper has managed to sell the Baby Yoda Ooshie for a huge $12,100 on eBay.
The seller, from Sydney's northern beaches suburb of Warriewood, listed The Child figurine from Star Wars for a starting bid of $100 on Saturday, the Daily Mail reported.
"First on eBay, individually numbered 059," wrote the seller.
"I didn't even know they were out yet," one Ooshie fan commented on the listing.
There are two kinds of special rare furry Disney+ Ooshies to collect - one is Thor and one is The Child, or The Mandalorian (known to fans as Baby Yoda) - and there are only 100 of each.
And good news for those living in Victoria.
"I'm happy to say that they will finally launch in Victoria this Wednesday and thank you to our Victorian customers for your patience with the delay. We have kept plenty aside so Victoria won't miss out," Mr Banducci said.
A Woolworths spokesman said that the Disney+ Ooshies are a Disney Collector's item but does "not encourage the resale of these items".
"They are not attached to any prize or reward, and they do not have a spot in the Collector Case - they are just for fun."
Each furry Disney+ Ooshie is marked with a number up to 100.
"Customers are urged to keep a lookout for these," the spokesman said.
After Woolworths released four rare glitter Ooshies - Elsa, Woody, Captain Marvel and the Mandalorian - they've been appearing on eBay for up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Originally published as 'Strange' $8 Woolies item flying of shelves