UK shoppers plan to stockpile products ahead of Brexit

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More than a quarter of shoppers have either begun stockpiling or plan to stockpile ahead of Brexit, according to GlobalData’s latest monthly retail tracker. The report shows that consumers are taking the possibility of a no deal Brexit increasingly seriously.

Thomas Brereton, retail analyst for GlobalData, said that more than two-thirds of all shoppers believe that the price of the usual food and grocery shop will rise. Some 10% of consumers say that they’re already stockpiling products.

The report suggests that the majority (39.7%) of UK shoppers are planning to stockpile household products. These include essential everyday foods such as cereal (35.4%), tea and coffee (35.3%) and meat (24.4%). The list of products UK customers aim to stockpile stretch from pet food (22.9%) fruit and vegetables (18.2%), wine (18.2%), oils and fats (17.9%), fish (17.7%) to beer or cider (15.1%) as well as dairy products (14.4%), soft drinks (14.4%) and water (13.1%).

stockpile products

Brendon said that it’s the fear of price increases rather than shortages that is the biggest driver of stockpiling trend – with 60% of stockpilers doing so because of a belief of higher prices post-Brexit, and 52% doing so in anticipation of product shortages.

The cloud of uncertainty that Brexit is creating is also filtering through to other areas beyond food, in particular, health, with 41% gathering over the counter medicines in preparation for lack of availability.

There is simply not enough information provided by the government on how food prices, availability and regulations will be affected in the event of no deal Brexit, which makes it difficult for merchants to reassure shoppers on the future state of the grocery sector. The just-in-time supply chain that UK supermarkets operate on means that there is not the specialist infrastructure in place to deal with stockpiling – particularly of fresh goods – and it is important that the government provides clarity that sellers can use it to their advantage.

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