This is a message giving an update on our current situation for Garden furniture orders. This year has been an uncertain season for the furniture industry as a whole and we have had to face an abundance of difficulties in the supply chain of goods from our manufacturers, the likes of which we have never experienced in our 20+ years trading. As a result of these challenges and the constantly changing environment in the delivery of goods, we have put together this message to outline some of the problems we are facing and also to keep you informed of our current situation regarding incoming shipments and home deliveries.
We are in regular contact with all of our suppliers and the shared problem is that furniture suppliers are having several issues with the delivery of shipments that are travelling overseas. This is due to the current worldwide shipping crisis that is affecting the supply of goods on a global level, this crisis isn’t only affecting ourselves at present and it is evident to see that many retailers and importers of products into ports are facing the exact same problems we are about to highlight. The main problem faced is the delays incurred within the international shipping lanes, some of which have recently made headline news within the press and media coverage. In addition to this, there is still major congestion at the ports with all ships having to await their turn to dock. This paired with the implementation of new import laws and reduced staffing has seen shipping vessels being delayed much longer than usual with ships even being forced to leave port and reroute to Zeebrugge in holland and return to the UK several weeks later. This has impacted severely on the gardening industry as a whole, with disruption to supply causing many unforeseen challenges.
At present we are unable to offer any guaranteed lead times for delivery due to uncertainty of our incoming shipments and please be advised that any quoted lead-times given on our website or by our in-store sales team are preliminary dates that are given to us by the suppliers for the goods arriving to our warehouse and we can in no way be held accountable for any delays that occur beyond our control. Until the goods physically arrive in our warehouse we are entirely at the mercy of the suppliers and their shippers, and with many shipments worldwide being delayed past their expected leadtime we would like to highlight that the quoted lead-times are only guidelines and not guaranteed dates for arrival into our warehouse.
If we have already been in contact with you to confirm your home delivery date then the following information will not apply to you and your existing delivery will not be affected in any way, if you do have furniture still on order with us and are awaiting a home delivery date then we ask if you can kindly read the following information:
At present we are experiencing an increasing number of requests for updates on orders and we are working hard to finalise delivery bookings from the manufacturer. Due to shipping problems, some incoming shipments have been delayed in arriving with us and as soon as we have a confirmed delivery date into our warehouse we will be in touch to finalise the delivery to your home, we ask if you can bear with us whilst we make these final arrangements but please be assured of our best intentions and we endeavour to get your furniture to your home as quick as we possibly can.
Product lead-times displayed online are only applicable to any new live orders and the leadtime given to you at the point of sale is the leadtime we aim to meet based on information given to us by the supplier.
So please don’t be alarmed if you see a leadtime change after you place your order as it is simply a case of the shipment carrying your goods now being fully reserved and the system is looking for the next available stock to reserve.
We appreciate the goods may take longer than we initially expected and this update is not the news you were hoping for but, please be assured we are working closely with the supplier and doing all we can to ensure the furniture arrives as soon as possible and any delays are minimal. The original estimated lead times were given to us by the supplier and we had good faith that they would be able to honour those lead times. Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen circumstances, they have not always been able to meet their estimations.
We sincerely apologise for any delays and we hope you can appreciate that these shipping delays have occurred due to factors beyond our control. We completely understand the frustration this may create for you but hope you are assured that we will endeavour to deliver your goods as soon as possible following receipt of stock. Our Home Delivery Service will be contacting you in due course to finalise the delivery arrangements.
Alternatively, you may feel that this delay is not acceptable and you may not want to keep the furniture on backorder with us. In this case, please let us know and we can offer you a full refund if you do not wish to wait any longer.
We also would like to extend to you our sincerest apologise for not contacting you sooner and we can appreciate that you may feel you have been let down by our responsiveness to any delays. In normal circumstances we issue our updates far more promptly than you have experienced. We are currently working with a reduced staff and have experienced a large uptake of customer orders. Disappointing our customers is the last thing we want to do and not in line with the standards we set ourselves.
Thank you all for your patience
Hills Home and Garden