Order your Charley Chau by 28 February 2019 to beat the price increase
We have been trying to put this off for as long as possible but after several years of significant increases in the costs of making our gorgeous beds and blankets, we have to increase our prices.
The 'good news' is that we are giving our customers advance notice of the increases that will be implemented on 1 March 2019.
So, if you have your eye on a Charley Chau for your dog, order by midnight on 28 February 2019 to take advantage of our existing prices before the increases come into effect.
Mabel prefers bed testing to the numbers side of our business - smart girl!
While it’s unrealistic to imagine that anyone would be “happy” about a price increase, I hope that the majority of our existing customers agree that we should stick with delivering fantastic quality rather than cut corners and standards. We are really proud of the exceptional quality that we deliver - lots of people make poor quality dog beds but only we make Charley Chau standard dog beds.
We don't compromise on quality at Charley Chau - our Ducky Donut Bed was six years in development and it's a donut with a difference - read the launch blog for an insight into how we go about creating a dog bed that is seriously cosy, stylish and practical
This is the first price increase on our collection of luxury dog beds and blankets for over three years. The costs associated with making our beds and blankets have been rising significantly every year and costs look set to keep rising. We are determined to maintain the excellent quality that we deliver in our designs and manufacturing and we need to increase our prices to ensure that Charley Chau beds and blankets are made to the same exacting standards as they always have been.
What’s driving the increasing costs?
The key drivers behind the price rises are the increasing costs of manufacturing in the UK, the falling value of the British Pound and the increasing rate of inflation worldwide. This is the short version but if you want to know about this in more detail then see the notes at the end of this blog.
As someone running a small business, it makes me feel nauseous to increase our prices, especially at a time when I know that most of us mere mortals are not wandering around feeling hugely flush.
From day one Charley Chau has aimed to deliver exceptional comfort and quality at a fair price, and, based on the amazing feedback from our customers, we believe that we deliver great value for money. However, the quality that we deliver does come at a cost (see our post on what goes into a Ducky Donut Bed for an insight) and I am the first to acknowledge that our beds and blankets are a considered purchase for many of our customers.
The focus now for team Charley Chau is simple and remains as it has always been: design and deliver the most comfortable, stylish and best quality dog beds and blankets that we possibly can. We can only hope that our customers continue to see the value in every Charley Chau dog bed and blanket as a good investment - delivering great value over time, not just in money terms but also in terms of the comfort and care for their dogs. We have a mantra at Charley Chau … it’s all about the dogs!
All dogs should be this cosy!
Prince increase drivers in more detail
When we first made a Snuggle Bed on the sitting room floor in 2010, we had no idea that it would lead to founding Charley Chau and running a small business. Neither Jenny nor I had run a business before and we never imagined that we would ever be impacted by some of the big economic stories that roll across the twenty-four hour news channels every day. But actually, what we’ve learned is that these big economic stories really do have an impact even though we're just a small, family-run business ...
UK Manufacturing costs are rising
We are proud supporters of UK manufacturing and all of our fabric-based beds and blankets are made in England. With this comes higher manufacturing costs than if our beds were made overseas, for example in China. We are both fluent Chinese speakers so doing business in China would not be a big problem for us but we choose not to. We want to maintain our exceptional quality standards by manufacturing in the UK. The UK currently has the highest rate of employment in the UK since 1971 and, as a direct result, salaries have been increasing at the highest rates in a decade. With rising wage bills, the costs of manufacturing in the UK have been rising and continue to rise quickly.
The buying power of the British Pound is falling
Almost all of the fabrics and fillings that we use involve overseas production at some point even though we manufacture in the UK. For example, our lovely Dotty Cotton fabrics are printed in the UK but cotton is not grown in the UK – it has to be bought overseas (India, China and the US are the largest cotton growing countries in the world) and is usually paid for in US Dollars. Every one British Pound is now worth 13% less than it was three years ago against the US Dollar - ouch.
Inflation worldwide is increasing
For the three years from 2016 – 2018, the general rate of inflation worldwide has increased by over 10%. The price of goods is rising, and when that is added to the fact that every pound already buys 13% less than three years ago ... double ouch.
It feels so strange to be writing this and I’ve not even mentioned Brexit which is a whole other ball game.
We set out in 2010 to make the best dog beds that we possibly could and it amazes us that we now have to consider these issues in the running of our tiny company. It’s actually the side of running Charley Chau that I like least. However, we are determined not to get distracted from our mission – designing beautiful bedding for dogs that looks gorgeous in your home – just as we always have done.