Some 48% of UK consumers have cited Brexit as their biggest concern relating to their personal finances in 2019, a study has found.
The research by NatWest and Retail Economics found that 13% of respondents felt that a 'weaker economy' would impact their finances, with 12% citing a 'lack of savings'.
Two fifths (41%) of respondents said that they expect their personal finances to weaken in 2019, with 35% saying that they expect to spend less on eating out, going to the cinema, and other evening activities.
The findings form part of a report, Outlook for UK Retail 2019 – Sustaining growth in a changing market, which forecasts that a dip in personal finances could have a knock-on effect on a retail sector already undergoing significant changes.
Forecasts predict non-food online spending to reach 50% in the next ten years, leading to overcapacity of retail space of around 20%, it said, anticipating further administrations and CVAs on the horizon, as 'retailers struggle to pivot business models quickly enough to meet the realities of today’s digitally led retail environment'.
“I fail to recall a more challenging time to accurately predict an industry’s future," commented Richard Lim, chief executive, Retail Economics. “Unprecedented uncertainty persists around the Brexit deal, the political landscape, and the magnitude of its potential disruption to the UK economy.
“The rapid evolution of consumer preferences will leave many retailers struggling to adapt business models swiftly enough to meet heightened expectations throughout 2019. The priority will be to focus on strategic transformation to pivot business models so they don’t get left behind in a digitally driven age," added Lim.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.