June 25, 2024

UK retail sales flat-line apart from food purchases – can retail tech help fight shopping fears as Brexit deadline approaches?


Brexit uncertainty has resulted in British retail sales flat-lining in August as shoppers cut back on non-essentials products. Simultaneously, food purchases have not faltered as Brits begin to stockpile ahead of the October deadline. According to the British Retail Consortium, annual total sales growth fell to zero from the weakest July rise on record of 0.3%. The possibility of the UK leaving the European Union without a deal on October 31st has resulted in a decline in customer demand for non-essential products whilst they hoard products such as food and medicines, after fears that there will be short-term supply problems after Brexit.

Ubamarket conducted nationally representative research across a sample of over 2,000 UK adults reveals how Brits feel Brexit is going to affect food prices on their weekly shop:

  • Brits currently spend an average of £50.40 per week on their in-store food shop;
  • 30m Brits – 59% – believe that Brexit will increase the price of food and produce in supermarkets;
  • 57% of Brits – 29.5m – believe that Brexit will make European goods in supermarkets considerably more expensive. 

There is concern amongst many UK shoppers regarding the prices and availability of products. However, retail shopping app, Ubamarket reveals how implementing app technology into stores could help retailers both big and small manage stock effectively by collecting relevant behavioural data their customers. Using technology in stores can help retailers manage stock more efficiently, by tracking the products customers are most likely to buy can help stores prepare for potential stockpiling as the Brexit deadline approaches. 

Could retail tech also encourage more footfall into all stores across the retail sector?

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has resulted in a further fall in sales figures in the retail sector. However, app technology does also have the potential to revitalise the high street and encourage more footfall into bricks and mortar stores. App technology can send relevant, personalised and real-time offers to customers as well as help speed up the shopping experience by guiding customers to the products they are interested in buying. 

Will Broome, CEO and Founder of Ubamarket, said: “The extended Brexit deadline is unfortunately not ideal for food outlets as most retailers have already started accumulating stock for Christmas, which means warehouses are full of frozen, chilled and ambient goods. Also, the beginning of autumn sees the UK much more reliant on overseas fresh produce. If there are to be food shortages after we leave the European Union, then retailers need to think of viable and efficient ways to manage their stock. App technology may not be an alternative that retailers have previously thought of, however, by collecting data on consumers’ behaviours, it can track which products customers are most likely to buy, helping retailers to stocktake.”