It’s a common question posed by consumers, especially at this time of year. Why have the prices gone up? So here at Climbing Frames UK we feel it’s only fair to let you know why! Our desire to create transparency on pricing is evidence of how customer serviced faced we are as a company. If we change something, we want you to understand why. We know how much time and money is spent on purchasing and we feel it’s only fair to give you the information up front: no hidden agenda, no surprises – just the facts.
The exchange rate plays a huge part in our pricing structure. GBP v USD was at 1.60 this time last year and now it currently sits at nearer 1.40. The forecast for the pound against the USD is looking very poor and all of our products are imported in USD. New stock arriving in 2016 is quite simply costing us much more.
It is also important to consider what you are actually buying. We all know that premium quality goods come with a premium price tag. 90% of the components in your product are wood. We only use premium Cedar wood in our climbing frames and playhouses to ensure quality, durability and longevity. All wood as a commodity is getting more expensive due to increases in harvesting, treating and pre-assembling. Labour costs have also increased across the board, raising wage requirements for manufacturing staff and customer service staff based in Europe, North America and Asia.
Delivery costs are not to be forgotten either. Even though fuel prices may be at a low for now, delivery companies are unfortunately not passing these savings on to us. We actually subsidise the average home delivery by almost £50 to be able to offer the £29.99 standard service. You may be surprised to know that our average charge for a home delivery is £78.64 in the UK.
As a business, we have streamlined our operation to ensure that we sell direct, so there are no big retailer margins included in what you pay. We work hard to manage our internal costs to keep YOUR prices down. Our staff work on shift patterns to provide 24-7 customer service. We produce products in huge batches to benefit from maximum volume production rebates. In spite of all of this, our group sales margin is actually smaller today than it was in 2005.
We are looking forward to the future and are also excited about future developments and products we can bring to you as customers. As a global brand, we will continue to invest in product development to provide you, the customer, with a better climbing frame for your money. We will continue to invest in engineering and design work to ultimately provide an easier product for you to install at home. It is of paramount importance too, that we will continue to run a lean efficient operation utilising technology to curb potential increases as well as continuing to motivate our staff to work flexible hours to give you 24-7 support.
In summary then, although we have no control of exchange rates, we will continue to absorb costs in the best possible way we can to ensure that we provide you with the best prices and the safest most durable products for your family.