8 September 2017
New figures reveal that retail sales rose by 1.4 per cent in the month directly after the EU referendum in June. The findings – released by the Office for National Statistics - come as a surprise to industry analysts and retailers alike, many of whom feared that uncertainty would blight consumer confidence and lead to a slump in sales.
The Bank of England has now predicted that sales will continue to grow over the next two years; a heartening speculation for retailers already facing tough trading conditions across the country. Business owners have however been urged to implement strategies to predict themselves against further uncertainty following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
“Many UK retailers had already hedged their next buying cycle before the Brexit vote, which helped to protect them from currency fluctuations until later this year or even 2017,” says retail specialist and partner at RSM Andrew Westbrook. “However, the best businesses will review their full supply chains and look for best in class suppliers who will work with them to share any increased cost while maintaining the quality of product that the consumer needs.”
For those in our industry, caution combined with optimism is the best approach when it comes to the new season and beyond.
“I did order a bit less at Moda this time around because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit,” admits Stephen Bell, owner of Bells of Alnwick, Northumberland. “But I saw all of the brands that I needed to see, and I am hoping that sales will be equivalent to this year once the season gets underway.”
What have your experiences been like in the three months since the vote? Tell us via Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #PostBrexit