As countries around the world stop UK travel temporarily because of the new strain of covid-19, France has taking it a step further and stopped freight for 48 hours too. Many Haulage companies will not allow trucks to come into the UK, without knowing if they can get back. The claim it is a temporarily measure and hope that goods will be moving soon, but retailers up and down the UK will now be worried that certain goods will not hit the shops quick enough for the Christmas rush.
It Affects Many Other European Deliveries
It is important to realise that this is not just French goods but all goods coming from Europe through French ports. There is a sense of irony of timing, as it has happened at a crucial stage of Brexit talks. Lorries are already stacked up for miles leading into Dover, as there is already a backlog. The next 2 days will be a real test of how well Britain has prepared to leave without a deal.
Not Sure Yet Panic Buying
It has yet to be reported, but is hard to see how certain shoppers will ow panic buy on the basis there is no guarantee what shops will be open in the next 3 weeks or so, but also the selves may not be getting filled to the levels as before.
Chances are the big supermarkets, will have most things in hand, but they do work to a “just in time “ business model, that could backfire if the 48 hours is extended.
Many businesses closed up for the Christmas break on Friday, so this week would be the main shopping week for many, although Christmas dinners are likely to be smaller with fewer attending and in London and certain South East areas, many will be eating alone. This does not mean the demand will be less. Many more smaller Turkeys being sold, rather than fewer large Turkeys as a quick example, but likely to be repeated across many other food items.
What also has to factored in, are those in the south east who had planned to eat on on Christmas day, to now have that event cancelled will now be eating in, and so a visit to the supermarket more likely.
The last minute Christmas gifts, that are on containers may just not reach any shop in time now to be bought as a Christmas present. Large chains, may not be able to mobilise their central warehouses to get the products out, even if the shops remain open.
Most people will be glas when 2020 is over, especially the bricks and mortar retail operations. In the background, online retailers are doing fine and in some cases better than ever.