Wattbike is calling on Boris Johnson to ‘do more’ for UK businesses who are being hit with surging costs for shipping and materials due to the pandemic, after being forced to adjust its prices.
The Nottingham-based company has seen demand soar during the pandemic but said it, and other manufacturing businesses, have been ‘largely forgotten’ amidst spiralling costs within international shipping and parts.
Wattbike CEO Rich Baker said: “We’re calling on the Prime Minister to intervene on the ongoing international shipping chaos on behalf of manufacturers, consumers and businesses up and down the country who are bearing the brunt.
“During the pandemic, the message to everyone was keep exercising, stay fit and invest in your health. We’re now calling on the Government to make sure that Wattbike can continue to offer our products at competitive prices and help keep the nation fit.”
Wattbike saw demand for its indoor bikes rocket when the pandemic triggered a cycling and home-fitness boom, with lead times stretching to 14 weeks at one point. The company said it’s now managed to scale up production and brought lead times back to a couple of weeks but have had to absorb ‘unprecedented’ shipping and parts hikes.
“We’re seeing shipping container charges 850% higher than normal and, whilst we’re not the only industry affected, this simply can’t go on,” said Baker.
The price of Wattbike’s flagship home smart bike, the Wattbike Atom, will move from £1,899 to £1,999 from Monday 2nd August and Baker said prices will have to rise across its range.
“At this rate, it’s inevitable that prices will rise across all imported goods and we’ve tried everything to avoid putting our prices up, with little help coming from Westminster,” said Baker. “So we really want to see Boris get on his bike on this issue, for the good of all British consumers. We’ll even reserve him a Wattbike to build his fitness for the challenges ahead.”
Read the July issue of BikeBiz below: