Fencing in short supply as sales up 120 per cent on last winter

Demand for garden fence panels is up to five times higher than normal, with sales up 120 per cent this winter compared to last.

Market researcher GfK has reported increased sales, while Forest Garden says demand is spiking. Landscapers say they can't complete jobs because of the scarcity of panels.

Forest garden marketing director John Gomersall said: "Rewind 12 months ago when there was snow and ice on the ground and it's a completely different landscape now.

"Demand started rising after bad weather last October and that depleted stocks. We came into 2014 with lower than expected stocks and in January and February wind, rain and floods have led to a demand up to five times bigger than usual from our sales outlets.

"We've had five or six spikes in demand since late last year whereas in 2007 we just had one big spike so it's looking to be the biggest year since the Great Storm of 1987 because ongoing demand levels are stronger and retail and trade outlets have no stock."

"We're supplying little and often but I've heard other suppliers have three-week delays. We've put prices up five per cent but some retailers are selling panels at £21.99 instead of £19.99. Some smaller regional producers have put prices up more than 20 per cent."

Len Fish from London-based Premier Fencing said: "We've had two price increases in a week, from £19 to £29.99 for a six foot panel.

"We're being quoted four weeks to get any and we've not had any for three weeks. We've taken jobs but we can't do them and people aren't being very generous about it. We've gone to three or four suppliers
and they haven't got any."

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