Mike Tattam comment: BMN Leading Lights – Brexit Special

Mike Tattam, Sales & Marketing Director Lakes, is BMBI’s Expert for Shower Enclosures & Showering.

Whether shower enclosure companies have their products made for them, or manufacture as Lakes does in its own factory, most companies import and mostly from China. So, shipping, port access and currency movements will affect individual brands and the shower enclosure market in general.

We’re already seeing a build up of problems with shipping being diverted from UK ports when there are queues and they’re too busy. The ships continue to an alternative port to unload cargo and then re-route back to the UK when ports are less busy. This is now, pre-Brexit! Even as this is written (11 March) it’s not clear what will happen, when and if Brexit begins on 29 March, but I can foresee increasing difficulties in getting products off ships and into the UK.

To protect customers as best we can from disruption and potential ‘known unknowns’ at ports in the UK, we’ve been increasing our stock holding over the last few months to unprecedented levels.

Will that be enough? Enough for what? We don’t know at this point. Merchants are asking what our plans for Brexit are, but reading their questions it’s an interesting role-reversal: the onus seems to be on suppliers holding stocks rather than merchants.

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Launched in 2015, the award winning monthly Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI) report is the only reliable measure of repair, maintenance & improvement (RMI) activity in the UK. Filling an important gap, it can be widely used in construction, and by economists, Government, national media, commentators and influencers outside the industry.