One-third of large retailers 'under-prepared’ for hard Brexit

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Around a third (33%) of UK retailers have ‘done little to no preparation’ or feel ‘very underprepared’ for a hard Brexit, according to new research.

A retailer survey commissioned by Retail Economics and Squire Patton Boggs found that the majority (52%) of respondents had done ‘some preparation’, with just 15% indicating that they ‘feel very prepared’.

The Third Quarterly UK Retail Brexit Trade Review of 26 large retailers also found that the majority of retailers (73%) have conducted some analysis attempting to quantify impacts of additional duties, leaving over a quarter (17%) having undertaken no analysis at all on potential additional costs.

Retail Economics chief executive, Richard Lim, said: “Leaving the EU without a deal would give the UK total sovereignty over trade, borders and immigration but would mean the immediate emergence of new, expensive and disruptive checks and costs at the border for trade with the EU.

“It’s awfully concerning that over a third of retailers have done ‘little to no preparation’, or feel ‘very underprepared’ for a hard-Brexit when this scenario could unfold early next year.”

The study also found that a third (33%) of retailers would face ‘significant additional costs’ in the event of a no deal scenario, and all of them suggested that a no-deal would have detrimental impacts on sourcing costs.

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