Mobility scooter retailer, Scoota Mart, has revealed to Access and Mobility Professional that it is bulking up the size of its orders in response to market conditions.
Managing director, Spencer Coe, outlined how the retailer is now ordering around 50-100 scooters at a time rather than four or six so as to remain competitive.
“Retailers’ prices have increased,” said Coe. “This is a direct result of suppliers putting their prices up 10%-15% coinciding with the collapse of the pound against the dollar, which also had a knock-on effect with the freight cost for importing the containers. A perfect storm in all the wrong ways, unfortunately.”
Scoota Mart has attempted to limit its price increase through “huge bulk orders”, but admitted that this can limit choice for the consumer as the retailer has to predict what stock is needed in advance.
“If the customer decides on a product we do not have in stock, the increase is around 25% on last year,” said Coe.
The EU Referendum vote last year has pushed prices up for mobility suppliers and retailers alike as the cost of imported components and scooters has risen.
Some retailers are expecting a ‘Brexit lag’, where it is predicted the true ramifications of the vote will not be felt until two years down the line.
For supplier Electric Mobility, the direct impact of the vote and the resulting drop in the pound has meant prices are likely to be affected. Because its scooters are built in the Far East and priced in US dollars, there has been a commensurate increase in the prices throughout the distribution chain from which Electric Mobility is not immune.
But Daniel Stone, managing director of TGA, insists that leading scooter suppliers will continue to support retailers with added value benefits that help justify the higher price point, such as extended warranties, brand building for greater customer awareness and free product training.
Image: Electric Mobility supplies Scoota Mart with Rascal mobility scooters