Due to Brexit and the shortage of lorry drivers, Ikea is struggling to supply around 1,000 product lines to UK customers.
All 22 stores in the UK are facing stock issues and shoppers have reported some outlets completely running out of mattresses and other items.
The retailer said that the shortages affected 10 percent of all its products.
Ikea is just one of the companies being affected by the impact of the current supply chain crisis. In recent weeks, McDonald’s, Iceland, the Co-op and Greggs admitted that they were struggling with stock issues.
The crisis is also impacting the Hospitality industry, particularly restaurants and pubs. Signs attached to tables and windows at the Wetherspoons pub chain read: “We are experiencing a shortage of some menu items – some items may be temporarily unavailable while others may have changed.”
Talking about the problems at Ikea, one insider told for The Independent: “What we are seeing is a perfect storm of issues, including the disruption of global trade flows and a shortage of drivers, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and Brexit.”
A spokesperson for the company has declared: “Like many retailers, we are experiencing ongoing challenges with our supply chains due to Covid-19 and labour shortages, with transport, raw materials and sourcing all impacted. In addition, we are seeing higher customer demand as more people are spending more time at home. As a result, we are experiencing low availability in some of our ranges, including mattresses.”
One shopper, Karen Bateup, contacted Ikea saying: “We are trying to purchase a mattress but your Lakeside store says the Hovag are discontinued, but you have another taking its place. Can you help as no one seems to know the name of it.”
The company’s support team replied on social media saying they have “supply issues on a number of mattresses” and that they may be able to get more in stock in October.
Another buyer, Claire Mcmenamin, tried to buy the Hyllestad or Hokkasen mattresses in super king size but was told by IKEA support officers that both items had a “supplier issue” and couldn’t be ordered.
In regards to the supply chain issue, industry leaders have warned that without urgent action to fill major gaps in the workforce the crisis could continue well into 2022.
The head of the Co-op supermarket declared that the problems faced by the food retail sector were the worst he had ever seen.
Some Wetherspoon restaurants are warning that there is a “shortage of some menu items” and other dishes have had ingredients substituted due to problems with supply. The English muffins and the chicken breast nuggets have both had ingredients changed to get around issues with the supplier.
A spokesperson for the restaurant chain said that “all items on the menu are available, but there might be substitute products of the same item from an alternative supplier if the existing supplier can’t supply at present.”
Couriers are also warning that the new customs procedures and the supply issues caused by Brexit will impact the retailers’ ability to supply Christmas toys and food. Head of consumer research at ParcelHero, David Jinks, said: “British shoppers will have a smaller choice of gifts and food this Christmas and will have to pay more for those items that they can get.
“The Government is refusing to acknowledge and tackle post-Brexit chaos. Last October, we predicted a shortfall of 100,000 truck drivers and warehouse workers, after most “non-skilled” EU citizens returned to their home countries in the wake of the Brexit vote.
“This has already led to empty supermarket shelves this summer and high-profile shortages hitting the likes of Wetherspoon and McDonalds.”
Chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Neil Carberry, speaking about the crisis, said: “Demand for workers remains very high across the economy and shows no sign of weakening. With businesses in the food, logistics and hospitality sectors starting to gear up for Christmas, the months ahead could be difficult, even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September.”
He added that, although many people are finding new work post-pandemic, “there is good evidence to suggest that the market will remain tight for some years to come, even if this current crisis passes.”
An Ikea spokesperson continued: “We hope this will reduce as the situation improves in the coming weeks and months.“Going forward, we’re constantly looking for more opportunities to secure product availability for our customers and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”
Source: The Independent
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