It may be an understatement to have said that the UK’s decision to vote and leave Europe was a surprise. There are many within the promotional merchandise industry who would have preferred the ‘remain’ campaign to have one.
Why? Much of our supply chain is European and Far East based. The immediate impact of Brexit is UK sterling falling in value against the US dollar after a period of much stability. This means that many gadgets imported from the Far East can only be quoted with 24 hours validity and many have to be ‘POA’ price on application. The price of oil also adds to market instability in that may gadgets are plastic based meaning that long-term these products will rise further in price. The UK promotional merchandise industry also relies on materials and finished products from Europe and again there is instability in the Euro exchange rate. What this means is that those companies whose supply chains are based solely on Far East and European supply chains are in for a rough ride as they wait for market stability to return.
Now for the opportunities. The biggest one is ‘Buy British’. Yes quite a few of our suppliers are UK-based and manufacture in the UK from home-grown materials. These companies may not only now be more competitive but also benefit from Brexit in the form of nationalist buying decisions that support the UK economy.
Whatever the long-term outcome from Brexit we are sure to changes in the UK promotional merchandise industry and at Redbows we are ready to face this challenge as we have many others over the last 10 years. We will simply do what we always have – looked after clients and given them the best possible service and value for money.
And what did we vote? You can probably guess.
Written by Dawn Koffler.