2020 has certainly been a year of unparalleled change, leaving us all wondering what 2021 could bring! At Factory Direct Flooring, we want to help our customers stay ahead of the curve, so we spoke to our Managing Director, Paul Hambridge to get an early insight into what lies ahead for the industry in 2021 and beyond.
In an interview for Business Live, Paul predicts that prices will rise in Spring 2021 as a result of a 450% hike in shipping costs, the inevitable ramifications of Brexit and a spike in demand.
He said: “It’s a trio of change that has arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic – people stockpiling, shipping lines raising their prices and the inevitable Brexit ramifications – that I wanted to highlight to customers. It’s not just the flooring industry, this is something that is hitting all online and offline businesses for all goods in the coming year, and it’s time to be a little bit savvy about it.”
Paul said that as a result of customers stockpiling, suppliers were looking to Europe for materials at short notice, in turn driving up the shipping rates.
‘There is currently a huge demand that many couldn’t have predicted. Usually, a flooring style will take around six months to become popular, but when our new Aqua Plank Herringbone range was launched just a few months ago, within a few weeks some lines were out of stock until mid-January. It’s the quickest selling range we have had,” he added.
However, Paul said there was still reason for positivity as he advised people to buy high-ticket items in the next two months rather than wait; especially if they had a project planned for the new year.
“There will be a price increase for basic necessities; such as household goods, but that will only be minimal when you look at the comparable price. But with everyone’s base rate going up, a similar percentage price increase will make a more significant difference on high ticket items such as flooring, so it’s worth planning your purchase in the near future,” he said.
Paul also predicted that more expensive items, such as a wood flooring, would also dip in popularity, but more cost-effective items such as LVT, Laminate and Vinyl would become key.
“With furlough coming to an end in March and increased living costs, people will have to become more frugal with their money - consumers will start to shop around. Now is the best time to buy from somewhere direct from the factory. I do hope all businesses are able to weather the storm,” he said.
Planning ahead for 2021? Take a look at our wide array of flooring solutions today.