UK residents are stockpiling Christmas goods in anticipation of a post-Brexit economic slump, a leading Christmas tree distributer claims.
Christmas Tree World, a premium online artificial tree retailer, says early orders have increased by 112% in July 2019, in comparison with the same period in 2018; leading Christmas Tree World to amass large quantities of stock as it works towards ‘futureproofing’ its business. Concerns have grown over the position of the UK economy and the value of the pound as the UK’s exit from the EU – scheduled for 31 October – approaches, exacerbated by the appointment of Brexit enthusiast Boris Johnson as prime minister.
Johnson has expressed optimism over a potential no-deal Brexit, despite widespread concerns that leaving the EU without a deal in place would plunge the UK into a recession; and has refused to meet with EU negotiators unless they agree to reopen discussions on former prime minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement, which representatives of the bloc have made abundantly clear they do not intend to do.
It was reported this week that department store Selfridges has already opened the Christmas store in its London branch a record 149 days before Christmas, becoming the first seasonal Christmas shop in the world to open this year. It is unclear to what degree this is due to concern over Brexit.
Christmas Tree World owner Stephen Evans said: “Knowing the uncertainty in the retail climate due to Brexit looming, we have decided to futureproof ourselves for 2019, and have already secured stock in our warehouse for the year in preparation for the Brexit deadline of 31 October. Ordering the stock so early in the year has given us the security of having it in our warehouse and ready to go. We’re pleased with how this futureproofing is already paying off – it is both preventing any logistical headaches for our team, whilst giving customers the peace of mind that they will have their Christmas tree well in time for Christmas.”