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Festive Shopping Setbacks Expected If No Brexit Deal Is Reached

08 July 2019 - 09:20 by Simon Crisp

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With the revised deadline for the UK’s exit from the EU landing on the 31st of October this year, concerns are being raised about the impact that this will have on the retail sector during the typically robust pre-Christmas shopping season.

In the past week a number of major outlets, including supermarket giants Tesco and Sainsbury’s, said that if no deal to govern Brexit is decided upon prior to this point and there is no further delay allowed, it would be a major setback.

Indeed, even the fact that there is uncertainty remaining around the issue in the interim is something which retailers see as being problematic. Both in-store sales and those made via safe shopping online have been struggling to achieve growth in recent months, with consumers being more reserved with their purchasing decisions as a result of low confidence levels.

BBC News interviewed the chief executive of Tesco, Dave Lewis, and reported that he is just one of many industry voices who are eager to see a deal reached rather than a no-deal Brexit scenario emerging.

For large retailers of all kinds, relying on international supply chains will become harder to do if there is disruption caused by a lack of trade agreements after Halloween falls this year. Mr Lewis even went so far as to say that this is not something worth wasting too much time thinking about because of how little direct control any one person or company has over the way things will play out.

Retailers are planning ahead to deal with potential shortages after the Brexit date, although the biggest problem being faced is that of a lack of storage space for the precautionary stockpiling that is going on at the moment. Warehouses are quickly becoming full, and with consumers remaining cautious with their cash, clearing room for essential goods is a challenge.