Harrods Delays Summer Sale as New Season’s Goods Slow to Arrive

Harrods has delayed its famed summer sale as the new season’s goods have been caught up in global supply-chain snags, according to the London luxury emporium’s managing director.

“Our supply chain is running two to three weeks behind where it should be,” Michael Ward told Bloomberg TV at the Qatar Economic Forum. “A good example of that is we’ve just delayed the summer sale for two weeks because I need another 10 percent of new-season stock to allow me to function into the new year.”

It’s the latest instance of supply constraints hitting industries ranging from cars to high-end fashion, with shortages worsened by China’s Covid-zero policies and the war in Ukraine.

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Tight labour markets are another challenge, particularly in the UK, where airlines, retailers and others are struggling to recruit workers.

“It’s almost impossible to find the right staff,” Ward said. “We’ve lost significant amounts of people as a result of Brexit. And it’s not the skilled or qualified, it’s the people we need to do jobs that unfortunately the British will not do.”

Despite rising inflation, demand for luxury goods has been strong, particularly from Middle Eastern, American and British customers, Ward said.

The price of a Chanel 2.55 bag has gone up by an average of 11.75 percent each year for the past quarter of a century, he said. High-end watches are another example.

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“If you were lucky enough at the moment to buy a Rolex Ceramic Daytona, we are selling it for £10,000 and you’d be able to instantly sell it for £30,000,” he said.

Qatar’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar Investment Authority and Investment Promotion Agency Qatar are the underwriters of the Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg. Media City Qatar is the host organisation.

By Francine Lacqua and Clara Hernanz Lizarraga

Learn more:

How to Sell Clothes During a Supply Chain Crisis

As fashion continues to deal with late deliveries and inventory issues, brands must consider how to make products relevant once they arrive — without going straight to discounting.

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