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Big Brexit challenge for DIY retailers cite

November 2019

As a general election approaches following Boris Johnson’s decision to agree to yet another Brexit negotiation extension, new research finds that it is also one of the biggest challenges facing SME home and DIY retailers in the next 12 months.

More than a third (35%) of SME home and DIY retailers said that Brexit presents the most significant threat to them, in the study conducted by innovative finance solutions provider, Duologi.

The new research also found that 29% of home and DIY retailers currently feel unprepared for Brexit as the UK enters general election limbo, and the future of European trading relationships are unclear.

More than one in five (21%) SME home and DIY retailers fear bigger players like Amazon will steal their customers, as it is able to offer lower prices and has greater visibility online. It’s also likely that these bigger competitors will fare better through Brexit financially than their smaller counterparts.

Almost a tenth (8%) of SME home and DIY retailers believe the decline of the high street will be the hardest hurdle to overcome in the coming year, as its well documented demise in certain areas of the country continues.

A further one in ten (10%) believe meeting customers’ needs would be a challenge, as members of the European Union (EU) may be able to offer more competitive prices and products.

Michael Bevan, CEO of Duologi, said: “With political uncertainty continuing into the new year, SME home and DIY retailers are still unclear on how this will affect them and how they can prepare. Despite additional resources being made available ahead of an exit from the European Union (EU), deadline extensions scupper existing plans and safeguards, putting small home and DIY businesses in a difficult position. The economic uncertainty also fuels further consumer hesitancy when it comes to spending on significant purchases, as they are unclear on what the immediate impact of an EU exit means for them.”

“Keeping up with bigger players is also a worry for a large number of home and DIY retailers which are able to offer lower prices, undercutting their smaller counterparts. Larger businesses are also able to take advantage of a strong online presence, reaching a larger number of customers.”

“However, there are simple measures which can be put in place to safeguard a home and DIY business that trades frequently with the EU. Alternative POS finance options allow small home and DIY businesses to move with the times and the demands of the consumer, making existing business models sustainable and even increasing number of purchases and revenue, in the process. POS finance options are quick and easy to implement, even for SME home and DIY retailers, and can make paying by finance as easy as paying with a card.”

The report by Duologi, Finance: an SME issue, surveyed 500 SMEs across a range of retail sectors about their concerns for the future and their knowledge and understanding of point-of-sale (POS) finance.

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