According to Amanda Reed, buying controller for Leekes, the housewares industry’s biggest challenge this year is “maintaining calm throughout Brexit,” in addition to the “still unpredictable high street.”
Commenting in Progressive Housewares’ magazine’s State of the Nation article, Amanda states: “Customer confidence is shaken already and the further uncertainty that Brexit is causing requires a steady pair of hands and clever buying.”
She continues with some important strategies for retailers: “In-store events to drive customers into the business can be ‘made in the UK’ themed and constant assurances of continuous supply of goods is key. Using online to drive store sales is important and ensuring store based offers are marketed properly online is a key challenge.”
Amanda also highlights the crucial nature of innovation from housewares suppliers to help retailers, emphasising: “The opportunity is to mop up where others fall, by presenting the very best ranges with newness and choice. Now is the time for our supply base to become brave and confidently launch new ranges with style and creativity. Those who are strong in the market will back the supply base and jointly market the goods to the customer.”
In conclusion, Amanda acknowledges: “The key is strong, solid partnerships with the supply base to ride through the Brexit uncertainty and come out the other side in a profitable position.”
For the full State of the Nation article, see Progressive Housewares January/February pages 28-31.
Top: One of Leekes stores.