Retailers express big Brexit concerns, Global-e

Retailers express big Brexit concerns, Global-e

57% of British retailers still have no plans in place for Brexit, according to a survey of 200 decision makers carried out by Censuswide and commissioned by Global-e.

Since the 2016 referendum, a third have experienced a fall in sales. This, coupled with ongoing uncertainty, has left 54% of those surveyed with a range of concerns. 49% anticipate a collapse in consumer confidence in the UK post-Brexit, 43% see difficulty in sourcing products or goods and 34% will even consider rationing in the event of stock shortages. Regardless of the outcome, 43% of UK retailers say they will have to raise prices.

Overall, 52% of retailers are concerned that their business will be impacted negatively by currency fluctuations. So far, many retailers that sell cross-border have benefited from a weak pound that makes UK products more appealing to shoppers overseas, but the weaker the pound, the more expensive imported raw materials will be. However, 39% of the retailers surveyed anticipate a decrease in sales to the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit and over 50% stated that they don’t know the tariffs that their EEA consumers will have to pay after UK leaves the EU. 

70% have no plans to move all or part of their business to an EU country. However, 22% are considering this option and 2% have already done so. When it comes to international growth planning, 55% of retailers have not changed their international operations and strategy since the 2016 referendum, and only 18% have invested more in growing their business outside the UK.

Meanwhile, the government’s delayed Brexit date of 31st October could derail fourth quarter performances, with 38% of the opinion that online trading will be affected by this untimely departure. Larger retailers (over 250 employees) voiced greater concern (56%) than SMEs (34%).

However, of the 67% of retailers that sell online to shoppers internationally, 38% have seen an increase in cross-border e-commerce sales. Whilst 58% of these accept that selling to shoppers internationally will become more complex, 57% overall are confident that their business can flourish internationally after Brexit.

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