These Are Not Normal Times!

‘Unprecedented’ – It’s the buzzword of the moment, and for good reason…

Usually here at Edmunds and Clarke we pride ourselves on short lead times and an excellent delivery service. However, since 1977 when we first opened our doors we have never seen such a strange trade as now! We are now living in quite different times with COVID-19 and of course Brexit looming. It is something that, globally we are all getting used to, so please bear with us!

Since lock down eased in June, we would like to thank all our loyal customers for their support. We have been fortunate enough to have re-opened our doors, where other businesses have not, and we are truly grateful for that.

Over the last few months everyone has had a lot more time at home, giving them lots of time on their hands. The housing and home furnishing sector as a whole has experienced a huge surge of interest and demand. This has meant we have taken an overwhelming large volume of orders in a very short space of time! We have pulled all our resources together, but we are only human. We are trying our utmost to fulfil our customer orders as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, we are experiencing some longer lead times and delays to deliveries due to many circumstances that are out of our control. (Even our magic wand is struggling!). Something we all have to get used to for a while.

Here is a little insight into our furniture retail world right now…. 😊

China’s shipping nears a standstill…

This is making global shipping one of the biggest casualties. More container ships are idled around the world now which is setting the scene for months of delivery delays ahead. Some of the larger ships have been taken out of the ports and replaced with smaller ships. Product orders are not being delivered together nor at the same time! For more information cast your eyes over this article …

Upholstery / Foam shortages…

The British Furniture Manufacturers (BFM) have warned of shortages of foam. And where there are shortages, there are price increases! These factors will impact the production of furniture in the run-up to Christmas and into the New Year. Other components such as buttons and springs are also at risk. Please be aware that these may result in any existing orders, and subsequent orders being delayed by several weeks. on sofas and armchairs.

The cabinet sector…

Many European suppliers of MFC and MDF have withdrawn from the UK market due to uncertainties over Brexit. The lack of materials means manufacturers are now working on an allocations basis and can currently only access around 75% of pre-Covid purchases.  As particleboard suppliers raise their prices, factory gate prices are also set to rise.

Staff and employment…

Millions of employees jobs are at risk after many UK workers are furloughed, some have been fortunate to go back to their posts. This is something else to bear in mind with many of our suppliers currently trading on skeleton staff.

Local Lockdowns…

Lets not forget the local lockdowns that have now been introduced. This can of course affect our deliveries and even the components and hardware for our furniture which are sourced far and wide sometimes.

Royal Mail & Other Couriers...

Here at Edmunds & Clarke Furniture we have many different courier systems in place for collections and supplier deliveries but they all seem to have the same thing in common…..delays!

Amazon Logistics is and has been suffering “capacity issues” which is causing delays of up to 7 days. They are working on the issue and hope to be back to normal shortly. The delay is due to an increase of orders after the threat of another lockdown and a shortage of trailers/trucks to complete collections
Royal Mail is still facing delays with Tracked 24 taking 1-2 days and Tracked 48 taking up to 4 days.  We have found even the simple 1st and 2nd class post has been delayed by a few more days than normal.
International Services – Standard lead times are up to 10 working days with most being delivered before then. Some countries are facing continuing delays due to COVID-19. 

The above issues are just a small selection of news snippets over the last few weeks!

Last but certainly not least….. Our own workshop…

Have we mentioned that our Edmunds ranges are all made in the UK…? I think we have mentioned a few times on our website 😁. Its something we are super proud of. But our workshop has been inundated with orders and due to staff shortages and materials arriving slower than normal, lead times here are most definitely higher than usual. Our Edmunds standard and bespoke ranges currently have a lead time of early 2021. But we believe all good things are worth waiting for and our exquisite range is most definitely worth the wait for sure! We always work on orders from the oldest first so there is no queue jumping. Of course if COVID circumstances start to improve over the coming weeks we will start to catch up with our orders and lead times might start to get a little better – here’s to hope!

A little recap to finish

As a small family run business we like things just so…. and to plan. We really do appreciate all our customers old and new. Lets stick together and help each other through these uncertain times.

We would like to thank you in advance for your patience.

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