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Retailers Raise Concerns Over Likely Impact of General Election in Festive Shopping Season

30 October 2019 - 11:57 by Mike Price

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While the extension of the Brexit deadline has given British retailers something of a reprieve in the run-up to Christmas this year, there are now concerns that consumer spending will take a hit because of the plans to hold a general election on the 12th of December.

Internet Retailing reports that with an election falling right in the middle of the period of the year when retail sales are usually at their peak, the uncertainty and anxiety that such an event tends to stir up could be seriously detrimental to the industry.

Ultimately, experts agree that what consumers really want to see is clarity rather than the currently unending volatility of the political landscape, which in turn has economic repercussions. People are less likely to splash out on the high street or via safe shopping online if they are not sure about how things will play out in the future.

Another issue that retailers will face as the election looms is that their marketing messages may struggle to get through. This is not just because of the sheer volume of other promotional content that will swamp consumers over the coming weeks, but also because many people will become averse to the more unabashed examples of advertising.

Industry insiders believe that it will be necessary for retailers to rethink their communications strategies in the run-up to Christmas this year so that they can engage with consumers and allay their fears while also making sure not to ruffle any feathers.

The deferment of Brexit until next year could give retailers a little more breathing room to plan and prepare, while the impact of the general election needs to be taken into account by those hoping to secure sales growth.