Welcome to 2021 – after experiencing the worst professional and personal disruption most of us can remember, it finally looks like the end is in sight.
Yet through such turbulent times, the resilient furniture and joinery industry has found opportunity, with large numbers of homeowners opting to update their interiors. And if doing up the current home didn’t work for their ‘new normal’, the stamp duty holiday encouraged plenty of them to up sticks and move to pastures new – with refreshed interiors a priority in their new home, of course.
From new kitchens and bathrooms to home offices, garden buildings/offices and other domestic improvements, 2020 presented the flexible-minded furniture and joinery manufacturer with myriad opportunities, and gave many the confidence to invest in new tech and supplies.
But not all things in the garden are rosy. The final hours of the Brexit trade talks are ongoing, with both sides posturing to defend their objectives – mainly around the fishing grounds, it would appear. Already, the UK is facing challenging border issues regarding trade –shortages are being encountered with timber, sheet and other materials and components, and it’s looking as though the supply chain will be under pressure well into this year (atleast).
Whether tariffs (import taxes) manifest substantially is a concern – with considerable monetary value attached to imported machinery and technology from Germany, Italy and elsewhere, price rises also look likely to be part of the future landscape.
Ultimately, whatever trading agreement or understanding we end up with, I have confidence that the furniture and joinery industry’s resilience and flexibility will stand it in good stead as we face the challenges moving forwards.
John Legg, editor