Sparse or empty shelves in stores: the shortfalls affecting British businesses due to the covid-19 pandemic and the Brexit are now observed in Super Market.
“We had already decided to reduce our stocks due to covid, but now it is difficult for them to deliver some products to us because they are simply not available,” said Satian Patel, head of a store in central London.
Behind it the shelves are half empty. “Last week I ran out of coca cola. “We haven’t had big Evian bottles in three weeks,” he explains. “Without products there is no trade. With empty shelves like these, no one will enter the store “.
British companies have been facing supply problems for many months, which could have an impact on the country’s economic recovery.
Although these problems are not limited to Britain, as the pandemic has caused unrest around the world, it is even more acute there due to the effects of Brexit which complicates the entry of foreign workers.
Many of them returned to their countries of origin when covid-19 broke out and some never returned to Britain. For example, there is a shortage of 100,000 professional truck drivers needed to transport products.
Near Patel’s shop a supermarket seems to be better stocked. But the phenomenon is deceptive, because all the products in the store are already on the shelves, according to Toma, a 22-year-old saleswoman.
“There is nothing in the warehouses,” he says. “We have shortages” on all shelves, “sometimes we receive limited quantities (of products). “We don’t even have water!” He adds.
Although the shortages started with the outbreak of the pandemic, they have worsened since January 1, when Brexit came into force, comments Tomas. According to her, customers have started to worry and ask the sellers, sometimes “blaming” us for the shortages of some products.
According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), “it will take at least 18 months to train enough drivers of heavy vehicles” to end supply problems. The CBI has called on the government to be more flexible in its immigration policy.
If waiting the transport companies compete with each other by offering bonuses or salary increases in order to attract truck drivers.
Supply problems forced carmakers to suspend production this summer due to a lack of electronic components, while construction companies were left without materials.
In recent weeks, shortages have reached McDonald’s restaurants, Wetherspoon pubs and even Coca Cola factories and Ikea stores. And the British government is under pressure to find solutions so that consumers do not find empty shelves during the Christmas holidays.