Convenience store customers and suppliers are urgently stockpiling products to avoid shortages if there is a no-deal Brexit.

A vote in Parliament in the new year will decide whether the deal that Theresa May has negotiated with the EU is accepted, but the current consensus is that the deal will be voted down by MPs.

Scottish Wholesale Association chief executive Colin Smith told RN major suppliers that import goods from Europe are now stockpiling. “There is more urgency because we’re closer to leaving. The vote must happen so so businesses can have the clarity to move on.”

Sugro managing director Neil Turton added: “Politicians are hindering businesses and there’s more uncertainty. Suppliers, such as confectionery manufacturers, are planning to hold extra stock, which adds cost.”

The concerns come as the Government once again urged supermarkets to stockpile products in the event of a no-deal earlier this month. 

However, wholesale expert David Gilroy warned of availability issues for retailers as independent wholesalers are limited in comparison. He said: “Independent wholesalers don’t have as much money or space. They primarily work on products with short shelf lives.”

Smith added: “Our members would only be able to hold four weeks of supply. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is working with us to decide what must be kept in supply.”

Peter Lamb, of Lambs Larder in Tunbridge Wells, said sales of pricemarked products have doubled because of recent Brexit developments. “They appear cheaper to customers and they’ve got the mentality they need to stockpile.”

British Independent Retailers Association CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “Our advice is to focus on developing your store and examine overheads to make sure you’re making enough margin.” 

More on Brexit: How Brexit is an opportunity to shape retail crime policing