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UK garden centers run out of gnomes after Suez blockage

Garden gnomes and other outdoor furniture are running out due to supply chain issues and the popularity of garden centres in the UK during the lockdown.

Raw materials have become increasingly difficult to come by and the recent blockage of the Suez canal has also contributed to the national shortage of gnomes.

Ian Byrne, assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster, Gloucestershire, said there had been a “massive upswing” in the sales of garden gnomes. “We haven’t seen a gnome in six months now, unfortunately,” he said. Byrne said garden centres had experienced a “boom” and that was causing issues with the availability of many popular items.

He said: “There aren’t any gnomes. There’s definitely a shortage. It’s a combined thing with garden centres being so busy. I looked at some figures based on March which said garden centres were 97% busier than they were in 2019.

“Every day has been like a bank holiday. That’s good but it’s definitely causing some issues because it’s not just English garden centres that are booming, it’s all across Europe, so it’s causing issues with supply,” he said. Like many garden centres, Byrne has been contacting suppliers across Europe and China to help ship garden gnomes to the UK.

He said: “Raw materials are becoming a bit of an issue and unfortunately gnomes are a victim of that shortage. Gnomes of any type – plastic, stone or concrete – are in short supply. They’ve been very popular over the last couple of seasons, we’ve seen a massive upswing in the sales of gnomes and definitely a different clientele wanting gnomes too.”

Read the complete article at www.theguardian.com.

 


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