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Retail Sector 'More Worried' Than Other UK Business Sectors About Brexit

Published on Dec 11 2019 1:40 PM in Retail tagged: Trending Posts / UK / EU / Brexit / ThoughtWorks / World News

Retail Sector 'More Worried' Than Other UK Business Sectors About Brexit

The retail sector is more concerned about the potential impact of Brexit than other UK business sectors, a new study by ThoughtWorks has found.

According to the study, which surveyed more than 1,000 decision makers in the UK, retail businesses were most likely to be concerned about changes to the import and export of goods to and from the EU, including VAT and customs payments (36%, compared to a national average of 23%), the falling value of the pound (32% compared to a national average of 24%) and potential supply chain disruption (28% compared to a national average of 20%).

Concerns over economic protectionism also ranked higher among retailers (22%) than other business (16%), while retailers were also more concerned about the potential for cyber attacks (19%, compared to 14%) and disruption of capital flows (19%, compared to 14%).

Utilising Technology

The study also asked businesses leaders to identify whether they were fully utilising technology to their advantage in terms of winning business, running efficient systems and attracting the best possible workforce.

The study found that the retail sector is lacking in this department, with just over a third (35%) of respondents saying that they felt technology was being utilised effectively, compared to 77% in media and technology and 59% in financial services.

Retail Disruption


"‘Retail is being hit by a cocktail of macro-economic disruption at the moment. Technological change and issues such as urbanisation, climate change and an ageing population are fundamentally changing the sector - and the consumer’s terms of engagement with it," commented Keith Flynn, director of retail strategy at ThoughtWorks.

"When all is said and done, now is not a time for retailers to tinker with ageing business models, it is time to be radical; the organisations that will succeed post-Brexit will be those organisations that marry ambition, deep customer understanding and smart technology to the benefit of the customer."

© 2019 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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