While we all may be a bit sick of hearing about Brexit already, it’s important for brands and retailers alike to ride the waves of consumer confidence and market uncertainty. So, with that in mind, we’ve created a focused round-up of some key retail insights in the era of ‘provocative politics’.
Retailers ride the roller coaster in consumer confidence
Although it appears consumers took a “business as normal” view immediately after the Brexit vote (total spending rose 2.14% the week after the result, according to Barclaycard), consumer confidence has now hit a 21-year low, according to GfK’s consumer index score. This tide of uncertainty will be set to have brands revisiting strategies more regularly to react swiftly to market changes.
Take away: KPMG’s newly appointed Head of Brexit, Karen Briggs, has been advising that a 2:2:2 model might provide a good post-Brexit strategy for retail brands. Plan for what your business will look like in two weeks, two months and two years and be ready to fail fast and learn faster.
Will Euro-brands maintain their new London stores?
It’s reassuring to see that luxury brands across Europe felt secure enough to proceed with investing in London throughout the build up to the referendum. However, the real proof will be if these stores can handle the political and economic turbulence and employ the right strategies to successfully ‘remain’.
Spanish luxury brand Delpozo opens its first London boutique this month on Sloane Street to attract the affluent shoppers of South London.
Golden Goose, a Venetian label grounded in ‘urban appeal with exquisite Italian craftsmanship‘, recently opened a UK debut store in Mayfair.
Dutch design company Moooi hosts its London showroom in Great Titchfield Street, presenting its collections from the infamous Milan Design Week.
Takeaway: There is a chance that economic uncertainty could benefit brands that respond intelligently. Unsettled consumers are looking for certainty and brands can provide that. In these cases maintaining strong links between Europe and the UK, but also by ensuring their quality never waivers.
Are smart systems replacing expensive staff?
There have been mutterings that labour costs and the availability of talent could be affected by Brexit. Could this lead to a rise in investment in self-guided retail missions or digitally assisted sales tools?
Fitfully is one such tool. It uses a smartphone, a piece of newspaper and a credit card to assess the fit of footwear accurately in just 30 seconds, replacing the need for brand footwear advisers. Primed for the sports market, Fitfully has already launched a beta website with adidas.
Take away: Combine macro analysis of the post-referendum economy with microanalysis of each aspect your business challenges – perhaps this time of change could bring about new ways of working that are more efficient and could provide long-term gains?
Sparked your thinking? Why not get in touch to talk about how we can work together on your next project?