How will this ‘nation of shopkeepers’ respond to the FUD from Brexit?

The well-publicised jitters undermine consumer confidence and retailers need to fight back.

The historic referendum which saw 52% of voters agree to have the UK leave the EU, does not lead to the UK exiting immediately and this new, prolonged transition period we now face means that the long term impact of this decision still remains to be seen. This is according to Andy Burton CEO, Tryzens, a leading provider of retail and B2B digital commerce solutions.

“The initial noise and drama, which has changed the political landscape overnight, has not been as profound across the capital markets. However, the pound has already reduced our efficiency to source services and products from overseas,” stated Andy.

“Additionally, some retailers and independent research reports are suggesting consumer confidence and spend is being hit badly by Brexit whilst people work out what this means.  Nobody has a playbook for this new scenario or a crystal ball to foresee the outcome, so it’s important to keep on top of emerging trends and be ready to react.

“In any time of fundamental change, Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) is fostered and grabs the headlines, further fuelling its impact. But in the cold light of day the major difference to other recent market upheavals though is that this time the UK economy is in much better health. What’s more, we continue to lead in the world in science, technology and innovation, services and finance, these core pillars of our economy have not changed.

It is the vacuum of leadership across the full political spectrum that needs to be filled swiftly with competent unifying leadership to engender clarity and confidence on the economy and define our future trade relationships with the EU and the rest of the world. Retailers, like all businesses, need to become even more responsive to the market and to their customers, and have their contingency plans in place,” he added.

“Retailers are clearly aware that the Brexit result could lead to a disruptive time for their industry, with consumers purportedly taking stock and preserving cash in the near term and with future uncertainty over the buying power of the pound, taxation, the continued employment of EU citizens, as well as other impacts of Brexit across the entire supply chain.”

“With the shadow of recent high profile failures of businesses, Retailers must adapt to remain competitive in the market today and need to keep an open mind to life outside the EU as that reality becomes clearer,” he added.

“Whilst Generation Consumer may well tighten purse strings and realign spending priorities, they will not stop spending altogether and they will seek good value, good service and great experience. Undoubtedly online stores, fuelled by innovation and the constant positive pressure of consumerisation, will continue to provide the greatest opportunity for retailers to weather the storm, being not just the most agile channel, but the most accessible and with the broadest reach to both domestic and international customers. We don’t need to negotiate new trade agreements to succeed online, consumers globally will continue to be the driving force.”

Burton concluded

“We may have been called a nation of shopkeepers with an intent to offend in days gone by, but in this digital age, Britain is truly a global power in both the brands that the world desires as well as through the innovation in shopping and customer experience that empowers the consumer. One thing is certain, we should continue to lead from the front.”