Updated:  31 August 2021

How accurate are the lead times stated at the time of ordering?

We check with our suppliers weekly to confirm the latest lead times – these however are only estimates at the time of order and are subject to circumstances outside our control as the retailer.

Lead times are currently considerably longer than usual and in some cases we have allowed additional time for contingency delays where we know there are additional factors affecting delivery, such as shipping delays caused by a lack of global capacity.

You have now told me my order is delayed – why?

Due to the unique challenges that Covid-19 has presented since it first began back in early 2020, our suppliers are continuing to deal with shortages of component parts. Supplies are erratic and sometimes suppliers order raw materials only for them not to arrive.  This is made worse by the reduced manufacturing capacity (in some cases by as much as 50%) resulting from continued social distancing in our production facilities.

Container shipping delays are severly affecting delivery times

Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant reduction in shipping capacity to bring products of all types into the UK, as outlined in this BBC report on container delays.

This is the result of issues caused by the major shipping lines cutting capacity during various lockdowns around the world and not now having available the ships to move freight at normal levels.  This is also being made worse by problems at some of the UK container handling terminals, such as Felixstowe and currently, more severe weather in the Far East where typhoons have caused additional delays.

The costs for shipping freight into the UK have almost doubled in the past 12 months and we, along with our suppliers, are working as hard as we can to secure capacity to get our customers' orders into the UK as quickly as possible.

However, the situation has got considerably worse through July and August, which is resulting in further delays to orders arriving in the UK.

Will the situation get better soon?

This is very difficult to answer. In regard to getting products manufactured, suppliers have found alternative sources of raw materials and, while lead times have been getting considerably longer than normal, they have stabilised.

In terms of the shipping issues our supply chain faces, it is unlikely that this will return to normal until well into 2022.

How will I know if my order is affected?

We are working very hard to monitor all orders due for delivery on a daily basis and, where we are made aware of new delays, updating all affected customers.

We would ask that customers remain as patient and understanding as possible - this situation is the same for many retailers across the UK and within the furniture industry we are working hard to tackle this as fast as we can.

However, with the shipping delays now reaching the worst that we have seen in over 20 years, it is simply impossible for us to guarantee that the delivery times advised when orders were placed will be met.

Thank you for your continued support.