Selbrae House sales trip dominated by Coronavirus

Monday, 2 March 2020

Selbrae House Managing Director Donny Carstairs told us about he recently returned from a round of retail trade shows including Spring Fair Scotland in Glasgow, Maison & Objet in Paris, Spring Fair in Birmingham and Ambiente in Frankfurt.  

Donny went onto say: “The overriding conversation on everyone’s lips was Coronavirus and whether that had affected visitor numbers.  At least this makes it a welcome change from discussing Brexit!  As it turned out, actual visitor numbers were barely down 10% and mainly reflected the fact that most Chinese manufacturers stayed away and some large PLC retailers insisted their buying staff stayed home – as a maximum precaution.  The real headache is starting to unfold in that the largest consumer manufacturing country in the world (by Far) is paralysed and unable to produce.  I know from our own business supply chain that things are going to get difficult and retailers are going to have to accept supply chain issues as standard.  Hopefully that hole can be filled in some way by UK manufacturers like ourselves who can and will continue to produce.  As an example we’ve launched a new retail brand called The Linen Table where the linen starts life the in last remaining linen factory in Scotland – right here in Kirkcaldy.”