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Garden Furniture Supplier Says 2022 Demand Is Triple Normal Levels

Garden furniture egg chair shutterstock_1062012566

With Solex postponed till 2022, several garden furniture suppliers have been holding their own invitation events for retailers.  Gardenforum visited Norfolk Leisure at the end of their 3 week, by invitation, trade show in Birmingham.

The show has been busy.  Garden centres were ordering at 3 times their normal rate and are seeking earlier delivery for 2022.  The Norfolk team does not believe demand will fall back to pre-Covid levels for a while, particularly with the level of online ordering.

Such are the delays out of China, director Debbie Waudby explained that they were forced to order their 2022 stock in April to guarantee that deliveries would be on time.  This was 3 months earlier than usual and before a single retailer had placed an order. 

It’s not only shipping and the shortage of containers that is delaying deliveries, but the high demand worldwide and Covid, which is stretching factory lead times and reducing factory capacity.

/live/news/wysiwyg/Norfolk Leisure - Directors Debbie Waudby and Nick Anderson.jpg 

What’s new

Norfolk Leisure is experiencing a move away from the traditional weave furniture to aluminium.  Grey is the dominant colour, but new designs with mixed materials are gaining popularity.

Norfolk is introducing barbecue range for 2022.  MD Nick Anderson says the market is wide open for a good UK designed garden centre range.  Most brands available to garden centres are designed for the American market.

The new Norfolk Grill Barbecus and accessory range has been designed for the UK market and received great feedback with its launch at the preview show. Many of the 100+ visitors to the show have signed up.

Current availability and prices

Although factory production is now on time, the shipping crisis and current freight rates are causing delays.  Norfolk has had to pay up to $15,000 a time to get their stock into containers.

This has hit Norfolk’s margins, but it has been able to offset some of the price rises of raw materials and shipping with savings from cancelled trade shows and marketing trips and a better exchange rate.

It costs the same to transport a budget weave set as the more expensive aluminium.  As transport costs have escalated the impact has been proportionally higher on mid-range weave.  With differentials reduced, customers are moving up to mid and higher range sets of furniture.

Christmas

The shipping issues may also have an impact on the delivery of artificial Christmas trees etc.  Much of the Christmas purchasing is in bulk and direct containers and will also be affected by current shipping problems.

Norfolk Leisure

Norfolk Leisure was set up by managing director Nick Anderson and Debbie joined him in 1997, the business has seen remarkable growth in recent years and expects to report an exceptional year with turnover exceeding £30m.

Source : Reproduced with permission from George Bullivant at Gardenforum

Image : Gardenforum - Debbie Waudby and Nick Anderson, Norfolk Leisure Directors

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23 June 2021

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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