Many concerns have been raised by the industry today, but as we approach the final furlong of this referendum in Scotland there is some optimism from Andy Stevens at Verdict Retail.
“I think the indies should be fairly well insulated,” he says of the consequences of a “yes” vote. “A lot of the issues raised around increased prices for consumers has revolved around the increased cost of doing business across borders and in the vast majority of cases, this isn’t going to be an issue. Suppliers are going to need the trade north of the border, so would be stupid to price retailers out of it.”
There are notes of caution from the analyst: “Obvious issues around currency are still there and I suppose business loans, mortgages and the like will be affected if they were to lose the pound.”
“However this is all speculation based on a yes vote which is looking pretty unlikely now,” he says. If it doesn’t go the unionists’ way, Mr Stevens thinks the industry will have time to react. “If there is a yes vote, we are unlikely understand the true impact for a long while anyway,” he says.
His predicted victory for The “no” camp should be embraced by independent shopkeepers, he says: “You can only think that a no vote will be positive for indies too. More power to Scotland means more power to Scottish businesses so you would expect that to work in their favour. But again, with no solid commitments, who knows!”
One things for sure though, one category should benefit from tonight’s events according to Mr Stevens: “Well there are going to be a lot of papers sold in the morning!”