FlyerAlarm halts UK sales due to Brexit
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
UPDATED: FlyerAlarm has stopped selling into the UK because of issues with delivering products here, post-Brexit.
The Germany-headquartered web-to-print giant has posted a notice on its UK website stating that all sales were suspended as of Monday (15 February).
It will complete orders that were already in the pipeline prior that date.
The statement said: “Dear customers, the consequences of Brexit mean that we are facing considerable difficulties in delivering products. For this reason, we have decided to suspend all sales from 15th February 2021. Any orders placed before this date will be produced and shipped as usual.
“In the mean time you will be able to access your customer account and order history as normal via our online shop. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our customer support team.”
Printweek revealed last month that UK trade printers were picking up work that would have previously been printed on the continent due to delays and complications caused by the post-Brexit customs situation.
A number of continental printers have posted service updates explaining that shipments to the UK are being delayed, and they are unable to fulfil fast turnaround orders as a result.
FlyerAlarm had previously stopped offering express and overnight deliveries to UK customers because of the Brexit-related delays.
The suspension of FlyerAlarm’s entire UK business is understood to be a temporary measure, although there is no further information at present from the group about how long it expects the stoppage to last.
The move has raised questions in the trade about whether other continental suppliers that do not have a UK operation of their own, or lack local production partners, could follow suit.
FlyerAlarm had overall sales of more than €385m (£335m) in 2019.
Its UK business employs two staff and does not file full accounts, although the UK had previously been said to account for around 1%-2% of group sales. More up-to-date figures were not available at the time of writing.
At one time FlyerAlarm had a shop in London’s West End, but this was closed in 2016.
FlyerAlarm has more than 3m product combinations on its website, with all of its output printed in Germany. Pre-pandemic the group would typically handle 15,000 orders a day for multiple countries of destination, and up to 24,000 shipments.
Its HQ is in Würzburg and it prints at its own sites as well as at partner companies.
Its logistics partners are DB Schenker, Deutsche Post and UPS.
Update 18 February: FlyerAlarm chief international business officer Lars Bo Haber Petersen told Printweek it was not currently possible to say what FlyerAlarm would do about its UK operation in the future.
He said: "We have decided to stop delivery to UK as we have been facing considerable logistical difficulties. We always strive to deliver our products to our customers quickly and in a proper quality. This has been difficult in recent times, which is why we have decided to stop deliveries. At the moment we do not wish to make any comments regarding our customers, nor about future plans in UK."