Much of the contract furniture sold to the UK hospitality sector originates from outside of the UK. When it comes to hotel chairs particularly, there are certainly far more importers of seating than contract quality manufacturers operating in this country.
This is by no means a bad thing as it provides a broad portfolio of seating options open to specifiers and the risk associated with importing chairs from reputable overseas sources is manageable. After all, chairs are generally complete pieces of furniture that require no assembly; one simply lifts them out of their carton and positions them in the room accordingly.
By contrast, bespoke hotel case goods are quite a different matter. To understand why we strongly recommend buying British case goods, read on.
Volume of components
To maximise the available cargo space in a container larger items of the case goods package are delivered palletised and are in components form. The bedroom wardrobe is a perfect case in point.
A typical two-door double wardrobe with one half of its cabinet dedicated to hanging clothes and the other half shelved for casual clothes and/or a laptop safe actually has some 15 individual panel components and 80-100 individual fixings to assemble it on site. When you then start to consider the desk, mini bar unit, bedsides, headboard, mirrors the number of components for one room alone can easily exceed 300 components. Multiply that by 100 bedrooms and there are a staggering 30, 000 components required to complete the installation.
The risk of missing components and being unable to finish room installations is greatly increased when importing case goods from outside of the UK, but more importantly the time to replace those components on site is also protracted. If you buy British, the factory can quickly get any missing components to site without delay so that rooms can be brought back on stream as promptly as possible.
Risk of damages in transit
Transporting your bedroom case goods over greater distances that may involve craning containers and shipping simply increases the chances of furniture moving in transit and receiving impact damages.
Most UK manufacturers are only a couple of hours of straightforward motorway driving away from any UK hotel destination. The chances of opening the vehicle container to any nasty surprises is far less of a risk.
Improved delivery lead times
Generally speaking, UK production lead times for bespoke case goods are roughly half of the time to import from the Far East and a third quicker than importing from the EU.
Post-Brexit, there are far more delays at customs with more cargo checking controls and when hotel bedroom installations are so time critical, these delays can easily add another week to what might be an already protracted lead time.
That unmistakable British quality
Let’s not take for granted the reputation that Britain has across the globe for ethical working practices and high quality manufacturing standards.
British-made contract furniture is built to last in modern factories that support ethical working practices and carries a warranty to underpin this confidence in the finished product.
Better for our environment
We should all be considering the carbon footprint of anything we specify. Typically, a 100 bedroom hotel would require circa 6-8 artic lorry loads to deliver the bespoke bedroom case goods. It goes without saying that it is a far greener option for those six vehicles to start their journey in the UK.
Moreover, British furniture manufacturers source as many raw materials locally as possible, again contributing to a more positive carbon footprint.
Supporting the UK economy
At a time when there are so many demands being made on the UK economy, the country needs us to buy British wherever possible. In turn, British furniture manufacturers can invest in their production facilities with new machinery creating more skilled employment opportunities and help more apprentices into the workplace.
Interested in specifying bespoke British case goods for your next project?