British retailers feel like they are walking into the darkness. The looming exit from the EU has UK retailers worried about the future, with a third anticipating a negative impact on business.
A new study by VoucherCodes – part of RetailMeNot – has revealed that the majority of UK retailers are petrified about what a post-Brexit future holds. In fact, just 4 per cent of retailers said they were confident in the future of British retail.
In order to prepare for the future, retailers have come to the conclusion that technology is the answer. In total 99 per cent said that they were considering new technology investments as part of their business plan. Meanwhile a quarter of UK retailers will be investing heavily in their mobile presence over the next 12 months, while 31 per cent plan to redesign their online presence, including mobile eCommerce sites and social channels.
There is also an increased focus on deploying tech in order to close the gap between in-store and online sales. One-fifth of retailers are focussing more investment on bringing technology into their physical stores.
Paul Lewis, Senior Director of Marketing at VoucherCodes said: “The watchword for the next 12 months or so is ‘uncertainty’. Retailers will obviously continue to keep one wary eye on the ongoing Brexit negotiations in Brussels, and another on the fluctuating pound. However, the UK retail market has strong foundations as one of the largest eCommerce markets in Europe so, whilst the future is indeed uncertain, it is important for businesses not to get caught up in this.
“No one can predict the direction the industry is heading post-Brexit, so retailers must future-proof their businesses by focusing on areas of investment and adaptability where customer demand is high.
“Smart retailers will be mindful of the changing industry whilst simultaneously focusing on the opportunities they can see on the horizon in order to keep up with customer demand – investing in new technology to revamp online platforms, as well as technology to invigorate physical stores, turning them into powerful brand differentiators in their own right.”