The majority of The Giftware Association’s (GA) wholesale and retail members who took part in a poll following the EU referendum believe their UK sales and export prospects are worse following the Brexit vote.
Some 68% of GA members who responded to a survey from the association believe their UK sales will suffer now that Britain has decided to leave the EU. And while 28% think sales prospects will remain unchanged, only 4% believe they will improve.
More than half (54%) believe their EU export prospects post-Brexit are worse, while some 40% consider them to be the same as before the vote. Just 6% think their prospects are now better.
A massive 88% of respondents expect their costs will now be higher and 12% think they will remain the same.
The survey results are in sharp contrast to a GA poll in mid-March which revealed that supplier and retailer members were generally upbeat about future prospects. However, GA chief executive Sarah Ward then cautioned that the referendum could change their views.
She said that despite the shift in sentiment, some respondents to the latest survey had stated that while Brexit created a number of challenges, opportunities for UK manufacturers and exporters would emerge.
Sarah added: “Some have asked us to give greater support to small businesses and British made products. At Home & Gift Buyers’ Festival [to be held in Harrogate from July 17-20), I will be talking to suppliers and retailers in greater depth about the possible consequences of Britain leaving the EU and how the GA can help them.
“This is a crucial time for our members. The association will be doing everything in its power to cushion what many believe to be a Brexit blow to their businesses and help them to move forward by giving useful advice and support.”
Members also called for the government to keep investing in growing British business and extend its reach internationally, adding that building a positive relationship with Europe was ‘a priority’.
GA chief executive Sarah Ward