A textiles boss has urged consumers to buy this year’s Christmas presents earlier than usual as the industry continues to be hit by shortages and the cost of cotton soars.
Mark Green, head of procurement at Happy Linen Company, said the ongoing food shortages, continued supply issued caused “predominantly” by the pandemic and Brexit threaten “the whole of the UK’s consumer goods market in the lead up to Christmas”.
Mr Green said the fuel shortages of recent weeks have further disrupted the UK and other parts of Europe.
He explained: “Existing backlogs at UK ports have only been worsened: not only is stock reaching the UK at a slower rate, but it can be stuck at ports for weeks waiting for HGV drivers to move it to distribution warehouses across the country.
“Therefore, it is a good idea for consumers to purchase their Christmas gifts and goods, such as festive bedding or pyjamas, further in advance than they usually would.”
Mr Green’s comments come as the International Cotton Association’s hybrid trade event takes place in Liverpool.
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Manchester-based Happy Linen Company sees its highest demand during the festive period, and Mr Green added: “Consumers are also facing the risk of the goods they can purchase being increased significantly in price. Shipping container prices have increased in cost by over 900%.
“Furthermore, the textiles industry has been hit by a 40% increase in the cost of cotton, whilst the quality of cotton has fallen.
“These increases pose an issue for retailers. Whilst many are reluctant to increase prices, some increases are inevitable in order for retailers to cover increasing supply costs.
“With a combination of supply issues and rising costs, it is likely many consumers will face increased prices and less choice when out shopping ahead of Christmas.”