Brexit has presented another challenge that needs to be tackled. However, Hama senior product manager Ben Jones believes that it doesn’t just present doom and gloom for distributors.
In the evolving distribution market, companies are being faced with an growing number of economic and logistical challenge, the largest currently being Brexit.
Brexit has generated a great deal of uncertainty in the market due to many businesses who simply had not expected or planned for it. With 44 per cent of total UK exports going to EU countries in 2015 (according to data from ONS), who can blame them for their concerns? It is not, however, all doom and gloom for us distributors.
Though the decision has been made, it is important to remember that there will be a transition period of up to 2 years before changes come fully into effect. This will allow distributors time to adapt and build new trade relations. An increase in complexity of the European supply chain resulting from future imposed taxes, duties and regulations is inevitable. However, there has also been a positive effect. For example, changes in legislation surrounding subjects such as health and safety, as well as energy efficiency could open up new opportunities for distributors, while the decreased value of the pound has reduced the cost of UK products to consumers overseas, creating a surge in retail sales.
“Changes in legislation could open up new opportunities for distributors.”
Ben Jones, Hama
An upward trend in retail sales is exactly what has been seen in recent years, with a 3.6 per cent increase in spending from 2015-2016 (ONS). Many distributors would have undoubtedly reaped some benefit from this increase, with the rise in consumer demand encouraging a rise in demand from the retailer on the distributor’s own goods.
There has been considerable coverage in the press regarding the declining high-street and store closures. Even though there has been an increased trend towards online sales (14.2 per cent of retail sales online 2016 compared to 12.6 per cent in 2015) there is still significant demand for the traditional retailer. It is extremely important for distributors to clearly identify their customers’ individual needs. Hama UK does this through our team of on-the-road regional sales managers who visit potential and existing customers within their area on a regular basis to keep them up to date with product development and learn about the changing needs of the business.
Many businesses appear to be making greater demands on distributors with regards to the supply of these value added services, which often allow retailers to compete with online sellers with lower overheads.
At Hama UK we have always provided services such as technical training and POS support, content creation, improved ordering system and stock availability, and an extended product range for a one-stop solution. This has proved vital in maintaining and expanding our own thriving customer base as an accessory distributor.