Half of c-store retailers feel their wholesaler isn’t providing enough support around Brexit, according to a new survey by HIM.
The poll of 250 independent and symbol retailers also revealed that 22% of respondents believe wholesalers could do more to prevent food shortages post-Brexit.
In particular, 40% want their wholesaler to stock more British products, 14% want them to put more pressure on suppliers and 11% want them to increase warehouse capacity.
The survey found that 27% of respondents are concerned about food shortages when the UK leaves the EU on 31 October, while 8% have already begun stockpiling. Furthermore, 12% expect to have to buy emergency stock from supermarkets as a result of Brexit.
The top four categories that retailers expect to experience Brexit-related shortages are fruit & veg (36%), meat (28%), fish (26%) and dairy (25%).
The most common categories that retailers have been stockpiling in preparation for Brexit are alcohol (11%), tinned foods (9%) and OTC medication (6%).
HIM and MCA Insight senior insight manager, Blonnie Walsh, said: “Uncertainty surrounding Brexit rumbles on. Half of retailers believe their wholesaler isn’t providing enough support, however, with confusion over the outcome of Brexit affecting everyone from consumers to head offices, I’m sure there is a case to be argued that wholesalers are as much in the dark as their customers.
“Despite this, we have seen some great examples of wholesaler communications focusing on Brexit, however these results indicate that more can be done. The outcome of Brexit and the impact it will have is unclear, but there is an opportunity to reassure retailers that everything possible is being done to limit disruption.”
The Association of Convenience Stores has published a briefing for the convenience sector to help retailers consider how their business may be affected in the event of a no-deal Brexit.