UK garden centers are facing a shortage of garden gnomes due to high demand generated by the lockdown and supply issues related to the recent blockade of the Suez Canal, the BBC revealed on Thursday.
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This is a big problem for the British, who have liked since the 19th century to place these little bearded figures (often depicted with a shovel in their hand or a pointed hat) in the heart of their garden.
While the number of budding gardeners has increased considerably with the successive lockdowns introduced in the United Kingdom to fight the coronavirus epidemic (which has killed more than 127,000 there), the supply of garden gnomes has not not followed.
Worse, it has shrunk: due to the sea freight congestion created last month by the blockade of the Suez Canal, many little gnomes are still waiting to arrive in the UK, locked in their containers.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any dwarves for six months! Exclaimed Ian Byrne, who runs a garden shop, and “whatever their type – plastic, stone or ceramic”.
The manager of Highfield Garden World (West England) told the BBC that after a “massive increase” in sales, his company was in the process of contacting its suppliers in Europe and China to resolve “problems. ‘supply’.
For the CEO of the Garden Center Association, Iain Wylie, this is because supply chains have come under enormous pressure from the pandemic and the blockade of the Suez Canal, where a 200,000-ton cargo ship has Ever Given was stranded for six days after a sandstorm.
“Garden furniture, decorations (including garden gnomes) are stuck in the containers,” he explained.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea said last month it had experienced similar supply issues due to high demand and shipping issues.
According to maritime data company Lloyd’s List, the blockade of the Suez Canal has prevented the passage of cargoes estimated at $ 9.6 billion between Asia and Europe every day.