Leaving the EU could benefit UK high streets, says expert
Although the referendum has created a wave of economic uncertainty, its consequences could give high streets across the UK a major boost, said Diane Wehrle, marketing and insights director at Springboard.
Writing in an op-ed published on Monday, Wehrle said: “With 52% voting in favour of Brexit, it may signal the resurgence of interest in and support of our retailers and retail destinations. If the populace feels re-energised with a renewed sense of loyalty to our domestic businesses we might see a reversal of the challenging trading conditions that epitomised the first quarter of 2016 where both footfall and sales dipped in the run up to the referendum.”
The weaker pound is also set to benefit inbound tourism, which in turn could drive retail sales higher, added the Springboard director. “Whilst our overseas trips have, overnight, become more expensive, for non-EU visitors to the UK the reverse is true. So for those retail destinations that have a particular appeal to overseas tourists, the opportunity for them to get better value during trips to the UK could provide a further much needed fillip to our retailers.”
Britain’ vote to leave the European Union on Friday has raised concerns over the country’s economic and political stability. Diane Wehrle said retailers should expect a period of uncertainty over the coming days and months. British businesses need to be at their most innovative if they are to maintain momentum and drive sales whilst new agreements are debated, she warned.
This could also be positive for retailers, according to Wehrle. “With necessity being the mother of invention, change and uncertainty will offer the opportunity to deliver propositions that drive consumer demand into the 2020’s,” she continued.
Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium said the preservation of single market benefits should be put first in Brexit negotiations to provide certainty for UK businesses.
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