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deadlines for kitchen designers are getting longer and order books are emptying

Inflation, the war in Ukraine, the rise in the price of raw materials… Very many individuals and professionals are currently suffering the heavy consequences of the crisis that we are all going through. Suppliers are struggling to honor all orders, delivery times are getting longer, invoices are inflating accordingly and some customers are giving up on their purchases. Kitchen designers, for example, pay a heavy price.

Several months to obtain a spare part

In their small family business Catem, which sells professional kitchens, Sophie and Julien Kocher are hit hard by inflation. The most complicated thing is to find spare parts from their suppliers: “For example, on a washing machine, today the pump has a delivery time of three months, time not confirmed”, sighs the manager. “While usually the next day, or at the latest two days later, we have it”.

And faced with the scarcity of raw materials, suppliers are also increasing their prices. Price increases that Catem is obliged to pass on to its customers: the price of kitchens has increased by around 20% in a few months.

Three months of waiting against three weeks to have your kitchen

All of these problems inevitably have a snowball effect. Kitchen delivery times are getting longer. “Normally, to have a kitchen, our customers have to wait two or three weeks,” explains Sophie. “Whereas there, we find ourselves on minimum deadlines of the order of three months”. Result: Catem’s order book is gradually emptying.

Some customers can’t afford to wait that long: “We’ve lost a few,” admits Julien. “Because a customer who needs an oven, he will need it right away. But the concern, even if he goes to another colleague, is that we are all faced with the same problem”, concludes the young man.

Preserve employees at all costs

Despite these difficulties, Sophie and Julien insisted on increasing one of their three employees, their technician, as they had promised him. A salary increase of 300 euros net per month. “We will always try to do the maximum for our employees” assures Sophie. “But it is certain that we will then put ourselves aside so that they have desirable working conditions”. Even if it means revising their own salaries downwards, while waiting and hoping for better days.

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