BSH, one of the biggest appliance brands in the independent kitchen retail sector, has confirmed to kbbreview that it has extended lead times for many products due to a sudden rise in orders.
Anecdotally, many retailers have contacted kbbreview with concerns that some suppliers may struggle to keep up with the rush of orders coming through post-lockdown.
One Neff dealer told us: “We had a little bit of communication to say there were some short delays but nothing specific about models affected, or expected lead times until yesterday (Wednesday, June 8).
“Neff are now telling us to order eight weeks out and hold the stock if we have to – not a position many are able to be in. I’ve got jobs fitted and being templated today with missing dishwashers and ovens. It’s the usual story that when there are shortages the communication doesn’t appear very quickly, we are having to chase daily to find out when these appliances will arrive.”
In a letter to trade partners, BSH says: “The post Covid-19 recovery continues throughout Europe and we expect to experience extended lead-times for several weeks. Production has increased, and we are receiving significant delivery volumes, which are being allocated against the oldest orders first until we are once again in a positive stock situation.”
Retailers will be issued with a weekly ‘traffic light’ report, to help them manage lead times for specific products – with green being immediate delivery, amber one to three weeks, red four to six weeks and black seven to 10 weeks.
On this week’s report, 306 products are listed and 49 of them (16%) carry the black indicator with particular clusters in the refrigeration and dishwasher categories as well as some ovens.
Gunjan Srivastava (pictured), CEO of BSH UK & Ireland, said: “As coronavirus lockdown measures are relaxed and businesses re-open across Europe, BSH is experiencing a surge in demand for its products and services.
“We have implemented strict hygiene and safety measures to protect the health of our employees, customers and consumers. As a result, we are currently experiencing extended lead times.
“We understand the challenge this is creating for our trade partners. We are grateful for their continued support and are starting to provide regular updates on availability.”
BSH is one of the biggest suppliers in the industry and is therefore likely to be seen as a bellwether for the unpredictability of demand facing all suppliers during this period of uncertainty – particularly with some summer factory shutdowns still going ahead in Germany and Italy.