Earlier in the year, we highlighted how a garden furniture shortage hit hospitality and outdoor venues as they prepared to reopen and welcome back customers for outdoor dining. With the weather warming up, your thoughts are probably on your outdoor space, so you likely want to know if the UK is still facing a garden furniture shortage.
As you look to spruce up your garden, ready for socialising with family and close friends, your shopping list might have all manner of essential items. The major items in most British gardens include picnic chairs, benches, patio tables, and parasols. These are often complemented with other products such as fire pits and outdoor cookware.
Here we provide an update on the garden furniture shortage and how it affects the supply of these items.
Increased Demand for Outdoor Furniture
The garden furniture shortage is still a problem, and the first cause is increased demand. The rise in demand for outdoor furniture began in early spring, even though the weather during these months was extremely wet. Outdoor garden furniture was being snapped up by pubs, restaurants, cafes, and hotels, which created a knock-on effect on homeowners and retail customers.
The demand is now souring further with the recent emergence of warm and dry summer weather. While many pubs and restaurants got ahead of the game and bought early, other venues are restarting, such as camp grounds and caravan parks, and they too will be in the market for new garden furniture.
The cancellation of flights and holidays abroad has put an end to many dreams of holidays on foreign shores. This means more people will holiday at home or within the UK, so the garden furniture shortage is set to worsen, and patio furniture is likely to be sold before it arrives in stores.
A Rise In Shipping Costs
Another factor at play in the great garden furniture shortage is delays in import shipping and rising shipping costs. Currently, there is a shortage of space on container ships, and port delays are occurring at both ends. These delays were exacerbated further by the Suez Canal blockage incident.
According to The Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA), which represents seventy wholesalers and manufacturers, there have been importing issues since January. The average delivery is two months behind schedule. Shipping costs from Indonesia and China have risen seven to eight-fold, and there are additional post-Brexit customs procedures and administration to deal with.
COVID restrictions have also hit manufacturing, particularly in India, where a more contagious Coronavirus variant has disastrous effects. Handmade items, such as fire pits, handcrafted fire bowls, and other artisan products are affected.
Although the situation sounds dire, it is essential to remember that British companies produce some of the finest wooden garden furniture. By buying British, you can avoid the shortage and the rising cost of garden furniture, all while feeling good about supporting local businesses and protecting UK jobs.
To order your outdoor garden furniture, please contact our team.