Irish retailers fear that there will be a hard Brexit, which could result in possible cost inflation and tariffs, according to speakers at an event held in PwC this week.
Over 120 retail leaders met at the event in Dublin, which focused on assessing the risks associated with Brexit, and trying to develop contingency plans.
It said that the industry needs to collaborate and act 'with a single voice on key issues' in order to ward off the possible cost inflation and currency risks.
Retailers hope for a 'transitional arrangement' but noted there is very little time available to negotiate or to develop contingency plans. Speakers called upon the industry for increased diversification
The main points from the meeting in regards to achieving a successful transition were ;
- The need to develop mitigating strategies, including with suppliers, to contain the passing on of costs to consumers
The need for significant support to develop sales in emerging markets
For the dairy industry in particular, the need for a long transition period beyond March 2019 in order to readjust
To engage with the process to be part of the solution, as doing nothing is not an option
Owen McFeely, PwC retail and consumer practice said, "A significant challenge for the retail industry is identifying the strategic impact on the business".
“We urge companies to engage with suppliers, look at diversification and plan for all scenarios. Look at the base-line assumptions, future trade volumes, potential tariffs and the potential cost of customs' compliance including additional resources. Then re-model your profit and loss account, looking at production costs and stay close to your customers. Finally, assess the results and consider next steps."
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