Overdue debts for repair services are increasing year on year. According to BIG InfoMonitor and BIK data, late liabilities are highest among points that deal with servicing and repairing computers and home appliances, but the debts of nearly the entire industry are growing steadily. From about PLN 58 million in 2021 to PLN 149 million in September 2022.
Zero-waste fashion is now taking on a whole new dimension. Given the high prices and the low value of money, using this trend will not only be a manifestation of a pro-environmental attitude, it may even become a necessity. We are now at a stage where consumption has reached such a high level that reform, though necessary, has become unprofitable. The high costs of parts and the service itself and the long wait time for repairs discourage even the most enthusiastic of the zero waste philosophy. Repair services are losing this, whose debts are increasing year by year – says Sławomir Grzelczak, head of BIG InfoMonitor.
During the year, more than PLN 91 million of overdue debts were added. Data collected in the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors and the BIK credit information database show that the largest arrears are on services that work as part of the repair of computers and peripherals, and last year they brought in nearly PLN 26.6 million in additional liabilities in arrears. The situation was no better in workshops providing repairs for consumer electronics (PKD9521Z) and household and garden equipment (PKD9522Z) – here the total amount of arrears increased by more than PLN 28.6 million. Moreover, watchmaking studios scored exactly 600 percent. Increasingly in debt, its finances today show approximately 3.4 million Polish zlotys in debt. The arrears of furniture workshops amounted to nearly PLN 5.3 million, and only shoe repair shops cleared some of their obligations.
There are fewer and fewer specialists in shoe repair, and it is enough to look around to see that there are no traces of them in the places where the shoemaking workshops were once located. Not only workshops disappear, but also people who are ready to learn a profession. No wonder, because in the era of “fast fashion”, shoe repair simply does not pay off.
Recently, however, there has been optimism, due to the return of the preference for professions from the ancient era, such as the “barber”. The same may apply to shoemakers, who, before this happens, will have to go through a vigorous transformation process and offer their customers not only a product, but also an attractive service. There are more and more people willing to buy good quality shoes, which can be seen in the growing number of craft firms that specialize not only in refurbishment, but also in the handmade production of shoes and leather goods.
Choosing high-quality products is one way to save money and repairing another. This can be seen in the data collected in the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors and the BIK credit information database. Late liabilities of companies dealing with shoe repair and leather goods a year ago amounted to approximately PLN 1.8 million, while at the end of September 2022 they decreased to about PLN 1.4 million. That’s still a lot for such a small industry. Concerns about higher amounts being spent on energy and materials remain.
Widespread inflation and inflation have had a strong impact on Poles’ approach to saving for several months now, which can be seen in the results of periodic quality-monitoring surveys conducted by the BIG InfoMonitor Register of Debtors.
– According to the last October survey, the largest group of Poles saves money on new shoes and clothes (35%). Reducing expenses is the primary form of overcoming a lack of money, but all too often there are voices of people opting for alternative solutions rather than giving up on buying. 16 percent of respondents buy second-hand clothes, and 14 percent. He tries to sell the products that fall into the wardrobe, thereby not only earning extra money, but also contributing much more, because the savings are environmental. This situation directly refers to the idea of \u200b\u200ba circular economy, and second-hand stores change their name to circular stores – A.’s comments. Waldemar Rogowski, Senior Analyst, BIG InfoMonitor (BIK Group).
The situation is completely different in the financial affairs of services that deal with the repair and maintenance of computers and communications equipment. Their unpaid obligations amounted to more than PLN 56 million, an increase of almost 90%. compared to the previous year.
More expensive computer equipment, shortages of components and personal computers due to broken supply chains have hit the electronics industry market hard. The increase in demand for this type of equipment, due to the massive shift to remote work, has severely disturbed the balance between supply and demand. Leisure habits and forms of communication have also changed. Technological advancement has not been as fast as in the past few years. Computer services turned out to be the hardest hit, and even easing component supply shortages earlier this year didn’t save them from financial trouble.
The repair of computers, communications and audio-visual equipment has long been considered unprofitable and time-consuming by consumers. At the end of 2020, in a study of attitudes towards repair, 21.3 percent of respondents decided to buy new equipment because it was too expensive to repair a broken product. A similar number of respondents cited the inability to regenerate as the reason, despite attempts. However, the most common reason is the desire for a newer, more modern model*.
– Unwillingness to repair electronics / household appliances is also caused by the problem of finding the right service or specialist. More environmentally conscious recipients would be beneficial. More and more companies are introducing activities that support the circular economy, giving consumers not only easier service, but also the opportunity to dispose of unused equipment in an environmentally friendly and economical manner. The attitudes of Poles integrating zero waste principles into everyday life are also changing. The fashion for the renovation of furniture, the renewal of old items, clothing or electronic equipment can be useful for repair services, and at the same time an opportunity to find a new and useful passion – adds Sławomir Grzelczak.
* The Torun Report: Do we fix or throw away?
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