As the government continues its cross-party talks with the Labour today (May 13) GiftsandHome.net asked independent gift retailers what effect, if any, Brexit has had on their businesses so far this year.
At Maia Gifts in Glasgow, co-owner Soni Ahmed says it’s hard to say if Brexit is the primary contributing factor or whether there is just a low in the economy generally. “However, I do believe that there is a sense in people’s minds to sit tight with their money until we know what type of trade relationship we will have with Europe, and whether the forecasted downturn will actually happen post Brexit,” he states. “With so many unknowns around Brexit it is hard to predict how this year will turn out but, as always, we will work hard to make sure we put ourselves in the best possible position to succeed.”
Meanwhile, Aga Gabrysiak, co-owner of Highworth Emporium in Highworth, says that Brexit has been taking its toll. “Brexit has impacted big time,” she confirms. “People are definitely spending money more cautiously. Plus, in our area, the announcement of the Honda plant closing in Swindon has added to the uncertainty.”
Florian Kleinlercher, managing director of independent gift multiple Between The Lines, concurs: “I feel that it is not so much Brexit that is affecting business, but the uncertainty around it.”
Concerns have also been highlighted by members of The Giftware Association. A recent Giftware Association survey revealed that members had serious worries about how Brexit would affect them and their businesses, to the fact the cost of exporting and business will rise.