Norwich fireworks sales explode despite sourcing issues in China

Fireworks sales are booming in Norwich despite global supply issues from Covid and Brexit.

Warren Thomas, managing director of Trafalgar Fireworks in Norwich, said the freight rate for a container from China has increased from £ 9,000 to £ 35,000.

A lack of empty containers is at the root of the problem, with Mr Thomas saying his Trafalgar Street business is still waiting for two containers ordered a year ago.

“This is all part of the Covid nightmare that will likely impact inventory for many years to come,” Mr Thomas said.

“I think a lot of seasonal suppliers will have a hard time finding inventory, but we are ordering 12 months in advance and are already purchasing for 2023. We’ve got you covered.”


Inside the Trafalgar fireworks in Norwich
– Credit: Ben Hardy


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Despite this nationwide problem, the Norwich-based company has seen sales explode with many people keen to order packs for garden parties.

Mr Thomas said: “It’s crazy right now. We are working 24/7 and are on site 24 hours a day. I was expecting deliveries at 4 am this morning, we are working therefore 24 hours a day.

“The most popular is some kind of pack, whether it is a small selection box or a large delivery pack.”

The retail store, which has been in the city for five years, has seen customers come from as far away as Glasgow to purchase products.

Mr Thomas said that 70% of the New Year’s trade comes from Eastern Europeans who have traditionally celebrated this for many years.


Warren Thomas outside the Trafalgar Street fireworks shop

Warren Thomas outside the Trafalgar Street fireworks shop
– Credit: Ben Hardy

The director explained, “Until the millennium we never had a New Year’s business. Eastern Europe has been celebrating the New Year for decades when we only recently figured it out.”

This sentiment is shared by Alan Watts, director of Asteroid Fireworks, which has a pop-up store in Thorpe St Andrew and a permanent store in Great Yarmouth.

He said: “The New Year is getting bigger than Guy Fawkes Night. People go out and celebrate the New Year more like everyone else.

“In my day there was ‘a dime for the guy’ and they would pull out a Guy Fawkes straw, but it all seems to be gone. Everything has changed now.

“I think there are a lot of exhibitions on New Years and a lot of people have parties and get together.”

Mr Watts also said East Europeans made up a high percentage of his clientele, especially in Yarmouth.

The director continued, “We had the pandemic last year, which made it difficult with the increase in click and collection, but I think it picked up this year.

“Average sales are £ 100 at a time with families coming together.

“There’s usually a wild ride in the five days leading up to Bonfire Night. It’s a slow build-up every year.”


Big Boom fireworks display at Norwich Castle from Town Hall.  Photo: MARK BULLIMORE

Big Boom fireworks display at Norwich Castle from Town Hall. Photo: MARK BULLIMORE
– Credit: Mark Bullimore / Mark Bullimore Ph

Selection boxes for home parties tend to be the most popular sale with garden products ranging from £ 20 to £ 200 in store.

And Mr Watts said he had encountered no problems with the supplies having ordered all of his stock in February.

“I think there have been shortages throughout the industry and the driver situation has caused problems,” Watts said.

“We could have been lucky enough to avoid it as we got there early. We may have missed a few items but nothing serious.”

Both Mr Watts and Mr Thomas deal with private parties and retail so have not been affected by the uncertainty as to whether large screens can move forward with the impact. persistent Covid.

The 30th Norwich Scout Group fireworks display at Tusting Close, Sprowston, has already been canceled this year for example.


The Aldeby Spectacular show features choreographed pyromusical fireworks to pop tunes.

Fireworks sales prove popular in Norwich
– Credit: Ana Kryalova

An article posted by organizers on social media said a decision had to be made “earlier in the year due to uncertain times.”

But other events, such as the Spooktacular fireworks in Catton Park and the funfair on Saturday, October 30, are expected to take place.

Home Fireworks Safety Tips

Trafalgar Fireworks publishes a safety leaflet for those who purchase products from the store.

He warns people to wear gloves and use strong scissors to remove the metal strapping and cage when unpacking the fireworks.

On display night, users are advised to wear gloves, hearing, head and eye protection and avoid loose or unbuttoned clothing.


A Safety Guide Booklet from Trafalgar Fireworks in Norwich

A Safety Guide Booklet from Trafalgar Fireworks in Norwich
– Credit: Ben Hardy

Fireworks must be lit at arm’s length.

Neighbors should be warned before posting, especially if there are young children, the elderly, or pets nearby.

The safety guide adds: “Make sure the shooting site is free of any overhanging trees or the like.” ”

Anyone who sets off the fireworks must be over 18 years old.

And it is illegal to let them go after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m., with the exception of New Years Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Years (1 a.m.) and Bonfire Night (midnight).

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