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Head of Ikea UK calls for Brexit transition period

IKEA People Pic

Gillian Drakeford, Ikea's UK country manager has become the latest retailer to apply pressure on the government over Brexit negotiations.

Business leaders are looking for a transition period to avoid a potentially damaging “cliff edge” and adapt to new trading conditions. However, the apparent deadlock in trading negotiations and relative silence from the government, has created uncertainty amongst UK business and retailers in particular.

Drakeford has demanded “clarity” from the Prime Minister over the proposed transition period that will come after the UK’s official departure from the European Union.

“I’d like to see some clarity, Theresa May talked about a transition period and this would be beneficial for us to adapt to a new trading reality, to allow us to offer products at the best prices,” Drakeford told the Press Association. 

“It is difficult at the moment, currency is one of the biggest things that impacts a business like ours. We want to keep the product at a good price for the consumer because we know that wallets are thinner, but we’ve had slight price increases in line with inflation.”

Earlier this summer, Drakeford told Retail Gazette that Ikea was invested in the UK and had no plans to jump ship amid the Brexit process. “We’re here for the long term,” she added.

The news comes as the Swedish furniture retailer seeks to move away from large out of town warehouses, opting instead for more central smaller stores where customers can order and collect goods.

“We have four order and collection points (OCPs) in the UK, and they are very much part of a test for us in the UK but also part of a global test. This has really been driven by consumer behaviour and the way people shop. We know today that time is important, convenience is important.”

Source: Insight DIY Team

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Image - Courtesy of Shutterstock

17 October 2017

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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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