Brexit update: Retailers speak out on Leave result

Lush Cosmetics and Malin+Goetz have come forward with comments on the EU referendum result

Two cosmetics retailers have come forward with their views on the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Yesterday, the UK voted to leave the EU, with a 52% majority. Consequently David Cameron has confirmed he will step down from his role as Prime Minister. For Cosmetics Business' earlier coverage of reactive statements from the cosmetics industry, click here.

Now, two retailers have added their voices to the crowd: Lush Cosmetics and Malin+Goetz.

Staff morale sinks

Lush Cosmetics' Co-founder and Managing Director Mark Constantine, said: "Lush is an international business, employing internationally, buying and trading internationally and that commitment won’t change. We have 4057 employees in Britain and almost 20% of those (782) do not have British citizenship. Britain’s ultimate exit from Europe has already had a dramatic effect on our staff morale.

"Sentiment here follows the stats… according to a YouGov survey, 75% of 18 to 24 years olds wanted to remain against 44% of 50 to 64 year olds, so the old have voted for out and the young for in… and as a consequence, those with families here consider that their children will lose out. Our younger British staff members are questioning staying in a country with such a narrow view and are weighing what this means to them in terms of career opportunities in European community countries. Those without British passports are concerned about how much longer they can stay in Britain. Many of our staff are living with or are married to a European Union partner and they wonder what this means for them, their partners and their jobs. Most importantly they feel unwanted and several have gone home being too upset to work.

"Those involved in exporting can see an uphill struggle as they have to get to grips with a change in legislation and having one rule for Britain and another for our customers in the Union. Equally, most are appalled at the prospects for human and animal rights, environmental protection and conservation.

"To sum up, for all of us there is a great sense of sadness at the loss of opportunity that this represents and grave concern as to the future of Britain."

An independent London?

Earlier this month the New York unisex cosmetics brand Malin+Goetz opened its first two London stores, with one located on Islington’s Upper Street and the other on Monmouth Street in Central London.

Andrew Goetz of Malin+Goetz said: “I'm afraid this is the storm before the hurricane. It won't be long until Scotland and maybe Northern Ireland jump ship. We are going to be entering an era of instability, which is generally not good for the stock market, and business in general. From our perspective we'll likely have to deal with a whole new set of packaging regulations; one for Un-United Kingdom, the other for the EU. And who knows now what the future of the EU will be? London really ought to declare itsself an independent City State. It could be the Singapore of Europa. Londonia - wouldn't that be nice.”

Nearly 60% of Londoners voted to Remain in the EU. In the hours after the vote, a petition was created calling on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to declare London an independent state; it has already been signed by thousands of people.

To read more, click here.

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