Cost of household appliances rise due to supply chain issues, with experts expecting hike to last all year

The cost of household appliances is rising for consumers, due to supply chain issues, new research reveals.

A number of firms are having to hike their prices in response to shipping and logistical issues with some products seeing a 12 per cent increase in the past year, according to data from comparison site, PriceRunner.

It found cookers rose from an average of £1,227 to £1,375 between April 2021 and 2022 – a hike of £148.

Meanwhile, tumble dryers rose in price by 5 per cent from £511 to £536 and fridge-freezers rose from £857 to £892 – an increase of 4 per cent.

However, some specific products will have seen an even bigger increase with experts suggesting that prices will not return to normal levels for some time.

Christine Gouldthorp, consumer expert at PriceRunner, said: “These increases are the result of a perfect storm; a mix of the UK’s HGV driver shortage, the shipping crisis in the UK and globally, with predictions that China’s recent lockdown will hit the UK supply chain even harder within the next few weeks.

“I would be surprised if these issues are resolved anytime soon, probably not even this year.”

Industry experts add that they have also seen a hike in prices across the board.

Paul Hide, chief executive of the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA), said: “AMDEA data for the last three months indicates an average 9 per cent price rise across all categories of major domestic appliances.

“Of course, type of appliance, the materials and components required and location of production facility will all have the potential to influence the inflationary factors in any specific model, both now and in the future.”

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What is causing supply chain issues?

Shipping and supply chain issues have been ongoing since Brexit and heightened by the pandemic.

The UK’s current supply chain issues stem from global shortages of materials, staff shortages and transport delays occurring at the same time as sharp spikes in demand, particularly for consumer goods and construction materials, according to a report by the House of Commons.

It added that supply chain disruptions have been exacerbated in the last few months as major shipping ports and manufacturing facilities in Asia have been affected by outbreaks of the Delta coronavirus variant, either closing or reducing capacity.

Nick Glynne from Buy It Direct, which owns Appliances Direct, told the BBC that manufacturers also faced worsening shortages of commodities such as electrical steel, in part because of the Ukraine war, while freight shipping costs remained high due to the pandemic.

The disruption to global supply chains has led to longer supplier delivery times for some businesses, particularly in the manufacturing and construction sectors.

As a result, there is often more demand than supply and retailers can push prices up for this reason – as well as to cover their own delivery costs.

Which stores are seeing an increase?

Currys said it is seeing increased costs with logistics being the main issue, however, the availability of raw materials and components is also playing a part.

It said it works closely with supplier partners to offer the best value, but unfortunately there is some impact to product pricing.

The biggest price increases are in refrigeration and American fridge-freezers in particular and this is being driven by logistics issues.

This is due to their size and loading quantities, for example, how many can be fitted into a container.

It added, currently, it is difficult to know when prices may return to a more reasonable level due to the ongoing global events including the Ukraine war and supply chain issues.

Other retailers added they have also faced difficulties and seen price increases.

A spokesperson for said: “There are currently unprecedented pressures on supply chains combined with increasing costs and availability for raw materials, which inevitably affects the price of electrical products.

“Whilst we don’t expect that to change throughout the rest of the year, our advice is to not wait, buy now, and buy online because it’s easier to compare prices.”

A John Lewis spokesperson said: “We’re working closely with our suppliers to keep prices as competitive as possible and have increased the number of lower price products in our range to provide our customers with good value for money”.

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