Retail sector set to expand overseas post-Brexit

New research has revealed that 81 per cent of retail business have plans to grow and adapt in a post Brexit landscape, with one in 10 planning to move their headquarters to an EU country.

Software consultancy ThoughtWorks commissioned research company Maru/Blue to survey a nationally representative sample of 1,026 British business leaders, finding that 19 per cent plan to diversify across more business lines and channels, while 24 per cent will take more business online to reach new audiences.

The survey showed that 13 per cent will seek new business partnerships with businesses in EU countries, while 20 per cent will seek new business partnerships with businesses in non-EU countries. A further eight per cent are looking to employ staff that speak more foreign languages.

It also found that 19 per cent of retailers plan to do nothing, and 26 per cent plan to focus more on the UK domestic market.

Meanwhile, 12 per cent are focusing on modernising their back office IT and eight per cent are looking to artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.

Luke Vinogradov, digital transformation principal at ThoughtWorks commented: “For years, people have speculated about the impact of Brexit – for the business community there will be uncertainty and those that turn it to their advantage will be the agile enterprises that anticipate change and adapt quickly.

“Our research suggests technology will be key,” he continued, adding: “Those enterprises that fully use technology to achieve competitive advantage are already making plans to expand, to innovate and to grow.”

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