How are British companies preparing for the possible no-deal Brexit? Many prepared for the hit by taking a stand to defend their revenue. The biggest (and very concrete) concern has to do with protecting one’s business from the devaluation of the UK pound. Three cases, narrated by Footwear News, demonstrate how the problem is particularly pressing.
According to Anthony Romano, CEO at Church’s (brand owned by Prada), the chance to have an operational warehouse in Europe is one of the possible solutions to offset Brexit’s costs. Romane explains to Footwear News that, while leather does come from European tanneries, production is done in England. The brand, in fact, has its factory in Northampton, but Europe accounts for 40% of its turnover. The manager, aware of the impossibility of being “100% prepared for the consequences of Brexit”, states that one of the potential solutions to fight the devaluation of the pound is to move the finished product to Europe.
According to many analysts, the purchase of the shoefactory Re Marcello in Vigevano, is part of (English luxury brand) Manolo Blahnik’s intention to offset losses in case of a no-deal scenario. The brand’s CEO, Kristina Blahnik, stated that the acquisition will guarantee “more creative and operational flexibility to bring the business forward”. It didn’t clearly mention Brexit, but the “operational flexibility” she speaks of leads one to think of a different way to manage the business’ production and more importantly customs.
Rupert Sanderson’s doubts
Contrary to Church’s, footwear brand Rupert Sanderson manufactures in Italy (in Tredozio, near Forlì) and ships their collections from there. According to the brand’ sales director Andrew Stewart, “since the company is registered as British, it is still unclear what we will do in case of a no-deal Brexit”. Furthermore, the situation will worsen if foreign markets such as the United States and Asia start imposing import duties. According to Stewart there could also be issues surrounding the movement of samples across Europe.
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