Over Half Of UK Retailers Dealing With Supply Chain Disruption Due To COVID-19

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Over Half Of UK Retailers Dealing With Supply Chain Disruption Due To COVID-19

Just over half of UK retailers surveyed in a new study by consultancy Retail Economics and law firm Squire Patton Boggs have experienced supply chain issues as a result of the growing coronavirus issue.

Some 24% of the retailers surveyed said that supply chain disruption is having a significant impact on their business, while 28% answered that they had seen some disruption, but they were capable of managing it.

Close to half (48%) of those surveyed said that they had not experienced any supply chain disruption as a result of coronavirus.

The survey was carried out among 30 large multiple UK retailers, covering food, apparel, health and beauty, DIY and gardening outlets, between 28 February and 3 March.

Consumer Confidence

When asked what they believed the biggest threat to their business was, in the event that the coronavirus persists, 38% said that they felt it would damage consumer confidence, while 31% said that they believed continuity of supply would be affected, and 14% said that they believed shortage of labour would be an issue.


In terms of the potential impact on sales, however, 34% said that should the coronavirus persist, it would have a 'significantly negative impact' on sales, while 41% said that it would have a 'slightly negative impact'.

Just 7% said that they believed coronavirus would have no impact on their sales, in the event that the virus persisted.

Supply Chain Disruption

“Retailers are battling against significant disruption to supply chains as the coronavirus has choked off production in China," commented Richard Lim, CEO at Retail Economics.

"While the impacts may not yet be apparent on shop shelves, around a third of retailers suggested that ‘continuity of supply’ is currently their biggest concern. Of even greater concern for other retailers is the impact on consumer confidence and the effect this will have on their behaviour."

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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