Increasing numbers of British businesses are looking to bring their manufacturing operations back home from overseas.
The Telegraph reports that the trend is emerging at a time when labour costs in Asia are rising and the latest consumer tastes require shorter, more flexible supply chains.
Business leaders are pushing for more local production and lobbying for more government support.
John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “There’s still a price differential between goods made in the UK and the Far East, but we are seeing work for higher quality components coming back.
“Lead times are becoming increasingly important. For consumer goods companies it can take six weeks to wait for something to come across the water from the Far East. We absolutely welcome it. Import substitution is just as important as growing our exports.”
Leading retailer, John Lewis is an example of a company looking to bring part of its manufacturing back to Britain from foreign factories. Specifically, it has launched a campaign to sell ‘British-made’ goods and plans to do more textile manufacturing in Britain.
According to Andy Street, John Lewis’s managing director the chain is aiming to increase sales of UK products by at least 15 per cent by 2015. This would equate to £550m, more than 12 per cent of annual revenue.
Currently much of the company’s textile manufacturing is carried out in Turkey and Portugal.