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Report reveals retailers are procrastinating over Brexit

01 March 2017 - 11:37 by Sarah Collinson

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Although the Brexit vote has been an almost constant presence in the news for the past eight months, a new survey from Global-e suggests that the majority of retailers have yet to put strategies in place to help deal with the changes that will be brought about by the triggering of Article 50.

Internet Retailing reports that 68 per cent of those questioned in the study admitted that their organisations had not formulated a Brexit plan, in spite of the fact that many UK-based outlets are already benefitting from an increase in overseas sales made via safe shopping online, thanks to the falling value of the pound.

Forty eight per cent said that they believed the nation’s economic outlook would be worse once it detaches itself from the EU, although almost two thirds said that they believed their organisations would continue to grow after the event.

Report spokesperson, Nir Debbi, said that most retailers seemed to be holding off on making any firm decisions about how to deal with Brexit precisely because there is so much uncertainty about what form it might take.

The UK has yet to strike trade agreements which will help it if and when it leaves the EU’s single market. And 51 per cent said that they believe it will be harder to organise safe shopping online on an international scale because of the border issues that will crop up in the future.

Other issues like VAT compliance were thrown up in the report, suggesting that while retailers may appear to be treading water at the moment with regards to Brexit, they are still considering a multitude of potential possible outcomes.

Thirty six per cent of retailers believe that ‘hard’ Brexit is the best option, while 46 per cent would prefer to retain access to the single market to keep retail afloat.