Britain's latest crisis is truly pants – a shortage of Knickers!
For industry experts predict the price of boxers, lingerie, loungewear, and PJs is set to soar while the amount available will plummet ahead of Christmas.
The crisis has been caused by a `perfect storm’.
First, the price of cotton has rocketed 40% to a 10-year high after extreme weather wiped out American crops.
On top of that shipping container prices have exploded by 900% due to transportation problems triggered by the pandemic.
One underwear retailer said: "It’s worrying. The festive season is an important time of year for us regarding sales.
"But it looks like we’re going to be hit by the same shortages other sectors are experiencing.
"You could say Christmas is looking pants – without any actual pants.’’
Mark Green, head of procurement at Happy Linen Company which sells pyjamas and bedding, said: "There has been a great deal in the news about the impact that Brexit is having on food shortages and how this might affect Christmas.
"However, consumers may not have realised the ongoing supply chain issues surrounding other Christmas goods, such as textiles, which have been exasperated by the pandemic.
"The entire consumer goods industry is facing surging prices in shipping containers with an increase of over 900%. A 40ft container now costs over £20,000 compared to £2,500 last year.
"For the textiles industry specifically there has been a 40% value increase in cotton whilst the actual quantity of cotton available has reduced.
"Even if clothes, bedding, towels, and other textile manufacturers pay the higher costs for cotton this does not mean they will receive the amount ordered – in turn posing a threat to supply chains.
"It’s not just the pandemic that has caused a decrease in the amount of cotton being produced – environmental disasters and the consequences of global warming has impacted cotton production significantly.
"If a retailer was to pass these additional costs onto the consumer many textile products such as soft furnishings and clothes could more than double in cost.
"It’s expected that price increases will hit the industry this Christmas.
"The bigger issue however is a lot of Christmas stock simply won’t arrive on time causing an overall shortage of goods.’’
Polyester prices are up around 25%.
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