Updated:  9 March 2022

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 or the effects of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

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

Despite the relative easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK and around the world, there are still significant logistical challenges related to the pandemic which continue to impact production of furniture in our factories around the world.

The recent onset of the conflict in Ukraine is also now having an impact, with the effects it is having on securing shipping capacity and the price of oil, which in turn affects the price of fuels wihtin our distribution network.  We are working with all our suppliers to try and minimise the impact of any additional delays, and our store teams will be keeping customers updated.

Container shipping delays continue to affect delivery times

The significant reduction in shipping capacity seen during late 2021 - as outlined in this BBC report on container delays - continues to affect global supply chains.

This is the result of the major shipping lines cutting capacity during earlier lockdowns around the world and not now having available the number of ships to move freight at normal levels.  This is also being made worse by problems at some of the UK and near-continental Europe's container handling terminals, such as Felixstowe and Rotterdam.

The costs for shipping freight into the UK have more than tripled in the past 18 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 last autumn and the winter, 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.  Recent developments in Ukraine have compounded the effects outlined above and are likely to affect delivery timescales in some instances, though we expect this to be limited.

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.

It is however simply impossible for us to guarantee that the delivery times advised when orders were placed will be met, though in the vast majority of cases, we continue to meet them.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we deal with these continuing challenges.