A textile boss has urged consumers to buy this year’s Christmas gifts earlier than usual as the industry continues to be hit by shortages and the cost of cotton soars.
Mark Green, purchasing manager at Happy Linen Company, said ongoing food shortages, continued supply caused “primarily” by the pandemic and Brexit threaten “the entire UK consumer goods market as it approaches of Christmas”.
Mr Green said fuel shortages in recent weeks have further disrupted the UK and other parts of Europe.
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He explained: “Existing backlogs at UK ports have only gotten worse: not only is stock reaching the UK at a slower rate, but it can be stranded in ports for weeks while waiting for truck drivers move it to distribution warehouses across the country.
“Therefore, it is a good idea for consumers to purchase their Christmas gifts and items, such as party bedding or pajamas, more in advance than they usually would.”
Mr Green’s comments come as the International Cotton Association’s hybrid business event takes place in Liverpool.
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Manchester-based Happy Linen Company is experiencing its highest demand during the holiday season, and Mr. Green added: “Consumers also face the risk that the price of products they can purchase will increase dramatically. The prices of shipping containers have increased by over 900%.
“In addition, the textile industry has been affected by a 40% increase in the cost of cotton, while the quality of cotton has declined.
“These increases pose a problem for retailers. While many are reluctant to raise prices, some increases are inevitable so that retailers can cover rising supply costs.
“With a combination of supply issues and rising costs, it is likely that many consumers will be faced with higher prices and less choice when shopping before Christmas.”