Festive cheer – and Christmas profits – under threat as Brexit disruption looms

One in seven (14%) UK businesses believe it will be difficult to break even this Christmas, due to currency instability and Brexit uncertainty, according to a recent Charted Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) survey.

One fifth (21%) of UK firms have imported Christmas stock early to avoid border disruption in the event of a no-deal exit on 31 October, according to the survey which polled a total of 817 UK and European supply chain managers. Of those, 9% have struggled to identify affordable warehousing space, while another 9% sounded a cautionary note, fearing they will not be ready at all for the festivities.

Almost half (48%) of firms said Christmas plans remained unaffected by Brexit, but a fifth (21%) said that the October deadline had made preparations more difficult.

Worringly, only 22% of UK companies with EU suppliers had completed the customs steps necessary to export to the EU in the case of a no-deal Brexit, with almost two fifths of those firms, adding ‘Brexit clauses’ to contracts, allowing for prices and other terms to be re-negotiated in the event that trade tariffs increase.