PPE pricing surges as hospitality prepares to reopen

The UK hospitality industry will slowly reopen in the coming weeks, and employers will be responsible for post COVID-19 strategies. Businesses will be obligated to take the appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of their employees. What those steps are remain unclear, but new polices on social distancing, more stringent hygiene procedures and the provisioning of personal protective equipment (PPE) are certain.

Not only will PPE become a necessary expense for operators, but one that may place additional stress on establishments that were struggling before the pandemic. The problem is that there is an international global shortage of PPE causing prices to surge with costs of surgical masks rising six-fold and gowns more than doubling according to the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Enhance reached out to several suppliers about the PPE shortage so that our clients can plan ahead and anticipate spikes in pricing.

We found that whilst suppliers are currently able to maintain stock for essential items, there is a possibility that rationing of some items may be required so that all customers can be served. And prices have seen a sharp increase. For instance, vinyl gloves are now 10 times more expensive and the cost of aprons have more than doubled. There is no old stock left in the UK, and any stock that is landing now has been airfreighted.

Factory prices have quadrupled overnight and manufacturing lead-times are now being quoted for September, meaning stocks will not arrive in the UK until the end of October or early November. Demand is so great, that both distributors and governments are paying extra to move to the front of the queue which is also forcing increases in price. In addition, air freight costs have gone from $2 a kilo to $30/kilo – and that is if you can even find an air freight slot.

Unfortunately, suppliers are not exempt from this industry-wide market force and whilst they are doing everything possible to challenge, delay and minimise the impact, there is a good chance that price changes have been or will be added to client contracts.

The latest pricing provided by our suppliers show steep increases, and whilst customers may have sticker shock, you will need to plan and prepare for these costs upon opening. And we are here right now to assist. Our deep industry knowledge and established relationships with hundreds of local and national suppliers will give you confidence that you will always receive the best pricing across all product categories. In the past year, we have saved our clients on average 13%!

Before the pandemic, that was a tremendous savings, but imagine what your business can do with all the money we can save you in these extraordinary times? Plus, by offloading procurement tasks to our team, your team will have the ability to focus on more important things – like getting everything in place and ready for business to commence once again!

Contact us today to get started.