I think it’s fair to say that the market has bounced back much more strongly than anyone in the industry could have hoped. While it’s brilliant news that we should all be celebrating, I think we all know that it has actually thrown up a whole new set of challenges – with demand in some areas starting to outstrip supply.
‘We’re all in this together’ has arguably been one of the most overused phrases during the whole of this Pandemic.
While the sentiment might be true, and it was certainly evident when so many people came out for 10 weeks to clap the NHS, it’s obvious that people in front line jobs, young people, deprived communities and certain businesses have been much harder hit than many of us.
I can’t be the only MD in this industry whose been pleasantly surprised at the speed with which the market seems to be recovering. I’d expected us to be gradually ramping up orders throughout May, June and into July, but we’re already at around 90% of 2019 levels and there’s no sign yet of that dropping off.
We’re just about to issue a survey to customers asking them to tell us how demand is increasing and how they see the next few months, so that we can make sure we stay ahead of that in terms of stock availability and returning staff.
As our National Sales Manager Julie Holmes has been saying in the trade press this week, I don’t think it’s ever been more important for customers to talk openly and honestly to their suppliers as much as they can.