Fermob Furniture Made for You in France
Fermob Furniture is predominantly made for you in their factories in France. Their principal factory we have visited many times and you can find more information about it here. They manufacture in Lyon for distribution globally although their main markets are still France and Europe.
The information on this page is currently being updated to try and cover the continuing scenarios brought about by Brexit and Covid-19, both of which continue to impact on lead-times.
This latest version is correct as of January 2022
Impact of Covid-19
France, like the rest of the world, has been affected by Covid-19 pandemic and this continues. It started spreading as their factory was in full production preparing for the start of the 2020 outdoor furniture season. Like all workplaces, they rapidly had to make adjustments to practices and manufacturing methods that, despite mechanisation and robotic welding, are still fully reliant on people. The whole essence of the Fermob brand is about people and as a family-owned company, they care greatly for their employees as much as their customers.
Clearly, in the early days and weeks, manufacturing times slowed but then the company (and their component suppliers) were hit with what can only be described as a Tsunami of orders, as more and more people, across the globe needed and wanted to be outside both for work and play. Fermob have seen considerable growth over the 16 years we have been working with them, and was gearing up for another big year. However, the order volume impact was so big that urgent measures were needed to optimise production.
These measures included:
• Focussing on popular styles and colours.
• Delaying new launches.
• Restricting some product ranges in some markets.
Covid precautions in the factory aside, France, like the UK, has suffered from the more virulent omnicron covid variant and this can, and is impacting on factory production at short notice. It is also why some parts of an order are sometimes completed separately, as the factory is a big site and not every job is interchangeable with another.
Additionally, the majority the raw materials used to make their furniture (mainly steel, aluminium and synthetic fabrics) have came under supply pressure globally and it remains in short supply compared to 'normal times'. These raw material impacts combined with energy impacts have also affected both the lead-time and the price of Fermob products.
All this means that the 'normal times' promise of delivery of bespoke furniture in 4-6 weeks can no longer be relied on and this varies by range (and sometimes by colour too). The main guide is the lead-time shown on the product page beneath each variant. When we place your order on the factory we get an order confirmation that gives and estimated manufacturing date. We then build normal shipping times into that and give you a rough estimate of when it will be with us in the UK. Depending on the make-up of your order and your location, we may be able to despatch your order to you by daily or weekly courier, but this will also depend on your/your outdoor space availability and sometimes the co-operation of others in the same route too.
As you might expect this is a complex and moving beast and your understanding is appreciated in order to get your items to you safely and in one piece.
Pre-Covid (and hopefully when there is a post-covid era) Obviously outdoor furniture has a busy 'season' when the factory is under greatest pressure (March-June) and working 24/7 and at this time lead-times are extended as demand builds across Europe. This can also be weather dependant, so a hot, early start to the Spring can also affect lead times too. Nonetheless, in normal times we work on a rough guide of 4-6 weeks manufacturing and shipping time. Note that this time start from when you confirm you are happy with the Terms & Conditions of the order and not the date on which you placed your order.
Impact of Brexit
Oh dear, where do we start? Pre-Brexit, furniture and other Fermob items would leave Lyon at the end of a week and could be at our warehouse the following week. This is practically impossible now (or at least not at the same cost). The supply chain now involves multiple operators to make it work smoothly along with the multiple tariff codes covering the wide variety of products, meaning each shipment needs to be carefully labelled and declared. In some cases it may also be checked or held at customs.
Additionally, as has been widely reported, the has been a great impact on HGV drivers, not only due to Brexit but also due to the pandemic. At times this has led to bottlenecks in the system that can take some weeks to unravel. This means that sometimes your furniture has been made and made it across the channel, but is waiting in a docks or haulage warehouse for onward processing.
We are building up relationship with a dizzying array of customs agents and haulage companies that previously we only interacted with when they arrived at the warehouse.
However, hopefully over time this will improve, but the fundamental change to our relationship with Europe, will take many more years to fully evolve. In the meantime, we endeavour to ensure your furniture once it is ordered, made and delivered to us, is expedited to you as swiftly as possible. Please do call us in you wish to discuss this further, but don't blame us, we didn't vote for it!