Factory closures across China to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus outbreak are affecting stock levels of goods that are imported from the country.
In order to attempt to control the spread of the virus, the Chinese government extended the Chinese New Year public holidays, with most private businesses remaining closed instead of re-opening on the 3rd February as planned. In some regions, this date has been pushed back to the 17th February but closures of factories and other businesses may be extended further as Coronavirus continues to spread.
Although many alternative suppliers outside the region may be found, they are likely to see increased demand or face similar supply problems themselves, given the country’s significant manufacturing sector.
Stockport promotional merchandise company Hatters Promotions are warning customers to make sure to place orders well in advance for future events or time-sensitive orders.
Managing Director Jo Shippen said:
“The impact of these continued factory closures in China will likely cause delays in production, quoting and shipping for both new and existing orders, particularly in our industry where the pressure overall has increased anyway.
“Fortunately, we can source most products from the UK and Europe and we would encourage other businesses to explore local suppliers as much as possible. As well as supporting local and British businesses and keeping money in the local economy, it can help safeguard supplies from future international events.
“Coronavirus has caused untold disruption in China and in turn unfortunate repercussions in the UK and the rest of the world and our thoughts are very much with those affected.”