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UK retail sector to lose out on £3.1bn a year in economic output in no-deal Brexit

Published
today Mar 8, 2019
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Retail businesses in the UK can expect to suffer a shortage of shop and warehouse staff as a result of Britain leaving the European Union, a new study by workforce management expert Quinyx has found.



London, the East of England and the South East will see the greatest reductions in available workers, predicted Quinyx in the report, developed in collaboration with Development Economics and Censuswide.

The shortage could have a significant impact on the economic contribution of the UK retail sector, the report said. In fact, the economic output of retail workers would be £3.1bn lower per year by 2024 under a no-deal Brexit than in an orderly Brexit scenario, representing a 59% decrease in output.

“The impact that a disorderly Brexit will have on the UK’s stock assistants, shop and supermarket workers, as well as the retail businesses that employ them is concerning,” commented Mansoor Malik, managing director of Quinyx UK.

“Access to manual workers or those in elementary service roles is crucial for ensuring the UK’s economic wellbeing – and employers, especially those in the retail sector, need to make plans to avoid staff shortages.”

Under any Brexit scenario, retail employers in the UK can expect to lose on average 16% of their manual and elementary service workforce as a result of uncertainty and lack of immigration policies.

‘’A first step for employers facing staff shortages is looking at ways that they can bridge the gap between supply and demand. Given the degree of uncertainty on the horizon, seeking out new ways to attract and retain domestic workers should be a primary focus,” said Malik.

It seems half of UK retailers already are struggling to recruit and retain staff, with workers complaining of low pay, lack of flexibility, and limited progression opportunities.

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