Labour MP Chris Bryant today warned that the coronavirus outbreak is causing a shortage of wedding dresses in the UK.
Bryant said many dresses sold by bridal retailers in the UK are imported from China and shops “have found it really difficult because the factories have been closed”.
With so many engagements happening at Christmas, spring is peak season for wedding dress shopping, and therefore Bryant has called on the Government to make sure there is “some kind of financial support” offered to struggling companies.
Responding to Bryant as he took questions on the impact of the virus’s outbreak on supply chain issues, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he is “working with the Treasury on the appropriate response.”
“Many wedding dresses in this country are designed in this country but made in China, and wedding dress companies in the UK, including in my constituency, have found it really difficult because the factories have been closed in China and they’re now suffering.
“Having married many women in my time when I was a vicar, I am aware that this is very time sensitive, and there is a real danger to many of these businesses that they are going to suffer enormous financial loss, let alone to the families.”
Bryant requested that Hancock “chase up replies from ministers in other departments to make sure there is some kind of financial support to these companies,” who will certainly lose out on sales if their stock is affected in this crucial period.
“He raises an important point and through the medium of the wedding dress makes actually a much broader point, which is that a huge amount of things are made in China,” replied Hancock. “And this is true also of drugs and pharmaceuticals and right across the board, especially clothing.
“And this virus and the impact on China will have an impact here through those supply chain problems and I am working with the Treasury on the appropriate response to that. Containing the virus will obviously have health benefits but it will have economic benefits too.”
Additional reporting from PA