Independent retailers who develop their local produce offer and work collaboratively with other retailers and suppliers could be at an advantage should the UK leave the EU without a Brexit trade deal.
Paul Martin, UK head of retail at KPMG, made the recommendations to RN following a report by the organisation warning many customers could face price increases of more than four times the rate of inflation, depending on the outcome of Brexit negotiations.
“Sourcing locally isn’t a silver bullet so it should be considered alongside other advice,” he said, adding that retailers who have a “granular understanding” of where products come from, as well as how they are transported, can make informed choices about what to stock.
“Retailers should consider joining forces with other retailers and suppliers to deliver collaborative solutions to the challenges that may arise from customs changes as well as exploring both pricing and supply chain options fully,” he added.
The report, released this week, analysed the potential cost of breakfast items and concluded imported goods like Spanish orange juice and olive oil from Spain and Italy were among the items set to incur the biggest increase, at 34% and 30% respectively.
Sid Sidhu, of Sukhi’s Simply Fresh in Kenilworth, is already sourcing as many product locally as possible and has an arrangement with suppliers.
“Brexit has not affected me yet day-to-day, but price inflation is inevitable. I do feel I am in a better place to withstand the storm,” he said.
As well as stocking local produce, Mr Sidhu has engaged suppliers in delivering to retailers within non-competitive areas.
“I’ve introduced several suppliers to other retailers and local restaurants. Through that arrangement, I have a great relationship with my supplier and I get great terms,” he said.