A recent survey carried out by Barclays has shown that almost a third of UK retailers are considering switching suppliers following the UK’s recent vote to leave the European Union, with 28% also giving some thought to sourcing from different countries.
The report provides an intriguing snapshot into retailer attitudes to their supply chain management in the wake of the UK electorate’s historic decision, with some 32% also saying that they expected to source more from the UK as a result.
Meanwhile, over half of firms polled anticipated that they would source more from India, and 43% expected to buy more from China. 38% signalled that they would be sourcing more from Africa, while 45% anticipated a fall in how much they purchased from Europe.
"A mixed picture"
The survey also examined retailers’ wider attitudes to Brexit, finding that half of them did not feel prepared for the UK’s departure from the EU. However, while 44% expected their supply chain to be negatively affected by Brexit, 41% anticipated that it would have “no real effect”.
Just under 60% of respondents expected the costs of supply chain management to remain unchanged or slightly increase, compared to the 15% that thought there would be a reduction in costs as a consequence of Brexit.
Barclays’ head of retail and wholesale, Ian Gilmartin, observed: “Getting your supply chain strategy right can be the key to success for retailers. It’s a mixed picture, but there are some encouraging findings in our post-Brexit survey.
“Retailers are not overly pessimistic about the impact of the vote on their supply chains, and yet they are still thinking carefully about what they need to do now, in particular with regards to which regions they source from and their foreign exchange strategy.”
An important indicator of retailer attitudes
The findings of this survey are certainly insightful in showing the clear intent of UK retailers to examine the scope for change to their supply chains and to increase domestic supply chain activity, rather than pass any Brexit-induced increase in costs onto consumers.
Contact Bis Henderson Consulting today to learn more about how we can assist with new solutions and process improvements in support, to help ensure that your business is suitably prepared for the impact on its supply chain of the UK’s impending departure from the EU.