Some good news and some bad news, lets get the bad news over first...
During the last year or so we've been hit with all sorts of price increases, raw materials, shipping costs, utilities, insurance to name more than I can bear to think about. On top of this we are having to compete with Chinese companies when we are trying to buy some of our horsehide supplies and all of our sheepskin, we are never going to be able to outbid factories with much lower overheads and wages than ours.
Now, just to illustrate how spurious our government's election promise to reduce UK manufacturers administration costs and red tape really was, in October 2012 we have to, by law, introduce, operate and pay for a new pension "scheme" for all our employees ...and I use the US meaning of the word "scheme" intentionally. This is the really the straw that broke this camel's back, especially as we've seen in recent years that pensions only really benefit the pension companies, banks etc, in recent years the poor worker upon retirement always finds she/he's ripped off, I'm sure this latest "scheme" will be no different, it's just yet another tax on employing staff.
This, on top of everything else, leaves us with no option but to increase the prices on most of our jackets, we already put all our trade prices up in March meaning most of our trade customers now correctly feel there is too much of a gap between what they need to charge, retail, and what we charge online. As it's the volume of Aero's trade business that keeps our own retail prices lower than our perceived competition, without so many trade customers stocking Aero, our retail prices would need to be far higher than they are at present.
This is something we really don't want to do so here comes the good news, (such as it is)...
We didn't want to spring this on our customers overnight with no warning, especially as there a dozens of customers currently working out the details of prospective orders with the factory, so we won't be altering our prices until October 1st 2012. Any orders placed in September will be charged at the current price regardless of delivery date and, as always, no deposit will be taken and no charges made until the day the order leaves the factory.
Over the last few months we've worked hard to get our waiting list down to under three months for bespoke special orders, the slight downside of this "Price Freeze" might mean this gets extended if there is a big rush to avoid the increase but everyone will get a delivery date when placing any new order, whether before or after October 1st.