Money is flowing into retailers' tills at a steady rate in the run-up to Christmas - but significant numbers of Midland shoppers have been unable to find the presents they were hoping for.
The findings of a survey by business advice group KPMG raised fears that some retailers are suffering from serious stock shortages.
Computer games retailer Game has already warned that deliveries of the Sony PSP handheld console had been stop-start since its debut on September 1, frustrating its ability to meet demand.
It is also thought that supplies of the new Microsoft Xbox 360 have been limited following its launch three weeks ago.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) of people in the Midlands said they had been disappointed in their quest to buy presents.
That contrasted with 32 per cent who said they had found what they wanted and 38 per cent who said they been able to cross off most of their shopping list.
Eight per cent of respondents claimed to have been unable to find any of the main gifts they had in mind at all.
The findings emerged from KPMG's third and final survey of Christmas shopping habits, undertaken with on-line polling organisation YouGov and in conjunction with retail tracking company SPSL.
Simon Purkess, retail partner at KPMG in Birmingham, said: "The number of survey respondents who claimed that they could find none, very few or only some of their desired gifts is significant enough to raise some real concerns.
"Either they have suffered as a result of stock-outs or have simply been unable to find a product along the lines of what they were hoping for.
"Stock-outs would imply that some retailers have again suffered with supply chain or product replenishment issues."
On a more positive note, the money which is being spent on the UK high street seems to be coming through in a smooth and regular flow, according to Mr Purkiss.
"Our previous survey - two weeks ago - showed that 45 per cent of anticipated spend was already accounted for.
That figure has now risen to 71 per cent, with the remaining 29 per cent of anticipated Christmas spend which is still out there reckoned to equate to around £114 per person.
"The only slight fly in the ointment is the fact that Christmas Eve falls on a Saturday - something which may encourage shoppers to leave some purchases until the very last minute."
According to Dr Tim Denison, of SPSL, trade should pick up this week, with five per cent fewer respondents having completed their Christmas shopping than at the same stage last year.
"This gives us every confidence that some of the footfall deficit will be recovered in the final week's shopping and we have no reason to revise the SPSL UK forecast of a 2.2 per cent drop in retail traffic this year compared to last," he said.
"The survey also confirms our predictions that the Midlands and the northern England will be the most buoyant regions, relative to 2004."
At Birmingham's £500 million Bullring complex, managers said more than 200,000 shoppers had visited the mall on Saturday, compared with average figures of about 140,000.
Dudley's Merry Hill centre also reported brisk business.