Shrewsbury Stock In store
Ableworld has increased stock levels to mitigate coronavirus supply risks

Ableworld's Founder & Managing Director and Founder Mike WilliamsAfter announcing its preparations to mitigate supply shortages by substantially increasing its stock levels, Ableworld’s Founder and Managing Director Mike Williams has shared his insights into how the company intends to secure a competitive advantage in the mobility retail sector.

Following a report by THIIS into potential supply shortages occurring in the next three months as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, Ableworld has confirmed it has invested an extra £600,000 to increase its stockholding.

Talking with various suppliers in the industry earlier in the month, many told THIIS that shortages in supply are predicted in May, June and July after extended production and shipping delays in China over recent weeks.

Speaking with Ableworld’s Founder and Managing Director Mike Williams, he confirmed that suppliers have suggested similar forecasts to him, with containers having been held up and delayed factory re-openings after the New Lunar Year.

Advertisement | Continue story below

Discussing the importance of retailers’ having the necessary stock in the event of a shortage, Mike commented: “We owe it both to our customers to ensure that we can look after them in these times, as well as owe it to our staff to ensure we have the stocks to the best of our ability to continue to run a profitable and successful business and ensure their continued employment.”

To prepare for potential stock shortages, the retailer has increased its stockholding by 25 per cent – around an extra £600k.

“It’s in all our interests to support our own country’s manufacturing base if those suppliers can offer the quality, range and speed of delivery – plus of course value for money,” Mike Williams, Managing Director of Ableworld

According to Ableworld, it noted that a key aspect of its purchasing strategy was investing in British-made products, which it said will reduce the potential risk of shortages as opposed to those products imported from China.

Highlighting the importance of buying British, Mike explained: “It’s in all our interests to support our own country’s manufacturing base if those suppliers can offer the quality, range and speed of delivery – plus of course value for money.

“This is even more important after Brexit.”

Ableworld acknowledged, however, that British-made ranges could still face shortages as components further down the supply chain may still originate from China, reinforcing the need to invest in additional stock.

“Fortunately, we are in a strong position and it is the beginning of the season, so the decision was an easy one to make,” said Mike.

The surplus stock spend comes as the national mobility retailer enjoyed a particularly strong financial year as like-for-like sales grew by 15.79 per cent.

With its accounts for the period being audited and finalised currently, the company stated it anticipates a 31 per cent increase in profits in their main trading company (Ableworld (UK) Ltd) and also substantial overall sales and profit increases in their overall trading companies.

The impressive results come as the mobility retail sector continues to grow increasingly competitive, with a number of players, most notably Middletons, expanding their presence in a bid to become established national retailers.

Underlining its focus on offering value to customers and continually updating its product range, Mike outlined what he believes lies behind the company’s positive financial performance, as well as how it intends to secure a competitive edge in the market.

“We continue to offer the largest product range and value for money to the customer, along with friendly, well-trained staff,” he said.

“We will be enlarging our own brand offer and concentrating on both the big-ticket items and everyday ranges to help and support the customers in their everyday lives. We will continue to have clear and an honest pricing structure with no ‘hidden extras.’”

Looking to the year ahead, the Ableworld boss finished by suggesting that the company would be launching more stores, expanding on its current portfolio of 35 stores.

“As you say with increased competition it is going to be an interesting year, along with the present worldwide issues, not, of course, forgetting Brexit,” ended Mike.

“However, we intend to continue our growth in turnover, stores and profits!”

https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Shrewsbury-Stock-In-store.jpg?fit=900%2C500&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Shrewsbury-Stock-In-store.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettNewsroomRetailer NewsTrade NewsAbleworld,Brexit,British-made,china,coronavirus,COVID-19,insights,Mike Williams,Mobility retail,mobility retailer,own brandAfter announcing its preparations to mitigate supply shortages by substantially increasing its stock levels, Ableworld’s Founder and Managing Director Mike Williams has shared his insights into how the company intends to secure a competitive advantage in the mobility retail sector.Following a report by THIIS into potential supply shortages occurring...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals