Last month we ran this article in which we asked Australia’s leading P&A wholesalers to comment about disruptions to their stock supplies and other business impacts due to Covid-19.
Given that stock shortages have been such a major issue, we were not surprised to see that it was our most popular article in last month’s newsletter, having 862 reads so far.
Cassons kindly agreed to take part in this survey, but being part of a publicly listed company as they now are, all comments to media have to be approved through the appropriate channels, so they just missed our deadline.
However given their huge range of products and extensive dealer reach, we thought that many of you would be interested in hearing what they had to say, so here are their comments:
The Latz Report: Have you noticed a strongly Covid-19 influenced increase or decrease in demand for any particular product ranges within your portfolio?
If so, can you please give details of which products have been most affected?
Cassons: So far we have not noticed any specific downturns, but we’ve have increases across the board and they have hit at different stages. Trainers became the first must have whereas demand far outstripped supply, and that remains the case. This moved into many other categories such as baby seats and trailers, pumps, luggage, helmets. Helmets stands out as the one area where it’s similar to bicycle, driven by entry to mid- level, then expanded upwards in price point.
The Latz Report: For which product ranges has your supply chain been most disrupted and how long do you think it will take for supply to catch up with demand?
Cassons: Anything from a European vendor, for us that mainly means Italy, has had the longest disruption. Some have advised it will be five months to get back to something normal, others are just five weeks behind.
The US has had some specific issues as California was shut down, stopping anything we get via that route moving for over a month. The flow on effect from all will last for many months.
China still has many issues with not being back at full staffing levels. As one manufacturer put it, they may be back to 80% staff levels overall, but one department might have 100% of its staff still missing, and that causes major issues across the board. With the added demand, and the inherent slower supply, there are long delays on many items.