Anyone who has ever been to a Harrods sale will attest it is something of an event. Queues wrapped around Knightsbridge, sometimes as early as they day before, to bag some of the best luxury bargains in London. This season, however, Harrods announced it will delay its seasonal summer sale as the spring summer collections trickled late into stores and new season deliveries are just as tardy.
Supply chain delays have affected a full spectrum of fashion categories, from luxury to high street, from clothing to accessories and homeware, and retailers are having to adjust their calendars to maximise full price sell through as well as maintain stock levels.
“Our supply chain is running two to three weeks behind where it should be,” Harrods managing director Michael Ward told Bloomberg TV at the Qatar Economic Forum. “A good example of that is we’ve just delayed the summer sale for two weeks because I need another 10 percent of new-season stock to allow me to function into the new year.”
Mr Ward also commented on the difficulty of recruiting staff: “It’s almost impossible to find the right staff. We’ve lost significant amounts of people as a result of Brexit. And it’s not the skilled or qualified, it’s the people we need to do jobs that unfortunately the British will not do.”
Many retailers and fashion groups have seen deliveries and orders upended in Asia, with ongoing lockdowns in China as the pandemic continues to rear its head.