Sven Statement issued 26 February 2020
We should like to reassure our customers in relation to Covid-19 and continuity of supply, by providing information both on the current situation and our contingency plans.
To date, the outbreak of Covid-19 has had no impact on our supplies of raw materials or bought-in components.
We are unusual in the very high percentage of our product portfolio that we manufacture ourselves: we not only process all our timber panels, but also fabricate the bulk of our metalwork in-house. This limits our dependence on outside suppliers. That said, we do still source some components from mainland Europe and China.
We have low exposure to Chinese suppliers, and can source equivalents from elsewhere if it becomes necessary. To date we have not experienced any supply issues in relation to Chinese components, and some suppliers who had closed have already reopened.
None of our Italian suppliers are in the towns currently on “lockdown” and all are operating normally. If the virus were to spread more widely across northern Italy there could be an impact on availability of some chair mechanisms, some ply seat shells, and a few table bases that we don’t manufacture ourselves. We have alternatives for the mechanisms, and can source the shells from elsewhere in Europe if necessary. If supply of the table bases were affected, we could manufacture some in-house, and source others from elsewhere in Europe.
In summary, we do not foresee the Covid-19 having any significant impact on our ability to supply, unless it were to spread extensively throughout Europe. In that extreme event, the product group with most sensitivity would be working and meeting chairs. Availability of desks, storage, tables, screens and the bulk of our soft seating should, in the main, not be affected unless the virus started to spread widely in the UK.