Britain voting to leave the EU last year sent shock waves around the country with every industry wondering what the change will mean for business. The beauty industry is no exception, as Katie Middleweek reports
When SPC last profiled the UK beauty market, it was mere days before Britain’s vote to remain in or leave the European Union took place on 23 June. At the time, polls were leaning slightly towards the leave camp and this indeed proved to be the case with 52% of people in the UK voting to put the plan into action to execute ‘Brexit’, as the campaign to leave became known.
Much has happened in the ten months since, ranging from mass panic in some quarters to quiet optimism in others, with businesses in particular wondering what Britain’s exit from Europe will mean for their bottom line. It will, in all likelihood, be another two years before Britain can properly extricate itself from the EU, giving businesses plenty of time to put plans in place, or, at least work out how it could affect the C&T industry, which relies heavily on overseas trade.
Johanna Kolerski-Bezerra, Lead Analyst at Euromonitor International, says there is reason for optimism in what is an uncertain time. “The UK’s decision to leave the EU has certainly led to high levels of uncertainty, casting dark shadows over the UK economy, as the country enters unchartered territory. But, having said that, in the short term, the depreciation in sterling since the vote certainly boosted tourism last year and therefore sales of premium goods.”
This resilience of the UK economy, she says, has actually ignited business optimism and the business confidence index started 2017 strongly – all good signs. Looking at the future of exchange rate and inflation, a weak pound is expected to push up inflation this year, with Kolerski-Bezerra predicting that . . .
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