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Retail, Brexit and the General Election


Retail leaders took part in a discussion on the impact of Brexit and the General Election on the retail industry. Some of the views shared around the table:

Despite luxury brands seeing a boost in sales following the devaluing of the pound, it was still felt that this was a short term gain for the retail industry with higher input prices to come.

Brands taking advantage of that spike in global sales need to build their brand name in those markets, to ensure sales aren’t just price driven in the medium to long term.

There was a feeling that top tier high street fashion brands will be the first to suffer, as consumers trade up and down.

There was disagreement on whether developing the manufacturing sector is more important than growing the retail industry, for the UK’s economy. It was said retail takes money out of the economy, but manufacturing keeps in it.

From an e-commerce perspective retailers will move fulfilment for European orders to an EU country, maintaining UK warehouses for domestic orders. This is because of potential tariffs post Brexit, but also a lack of warehousing staff due to expected migration restrictions for unskilled workers.

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