Last week was a busy week in British politics, with most of us avidly watching the news to see the latest Brexit events and reactions. After the resignations and letters of no confidence, it's easy to become disillusioned and a bit fearful of what the future holds. At this stage, we can't say whether this withdrawal agreement will be accepted by us, or by the EU, and it’s only one step in a long process; there are many more rounds of negotiations to go! So what should we take from this right now? What does it mean for retailers in the Golf industry?
Whilst there is a lot of uncertainty about the future and what the agreement will mean in practice, we can be sure of two things:
- Firstly, financial markets don’t like uncertainty. On Thursday, we saw the pound plunge the most in two years following the political turmoil and Cabinet departures. It's since steadied but the markets are warning of short term volatility. This means imports are likely to become more expensive. For pro shop owners, the products you buy in for the coming seasons could be more expensive but, don’t panic as there are things you can do here. Firstly, make sure you lock-in pricing with your suppliers for next year and any future commitments. Some of you will have already done this which is great. And where you haven’t done that, you may need to pass on the cost increase, or some of it, to your customers. You might not want to do this for existing products that you are re-stocking, but you could consider doing this for new products arriving in the new season. Something to think about!
- And secondly, shoppers don’t like uncertainty – it makes them feel uneasy and they are less likely to spend money. Again, what does this mean to Golf retailers and what can you do? Well the good news is that you already have all the right tools to overcome this challenge! It means providing great customer service and running a tight business, using retail best practice, just as you do today. Put your customers and golfers at the heart of everything you do, and they will return the loyalty.
What’s next on the Brexit calendar? Well, the EU leaders plan to meet on 25th November to finalize the draft Brexit agreement struck by the negotiators, and there should be a vote on the deal in the Commons on 18 December. Like you, we will be watching this with interest ….. and we will continue to let you know how best to survive and thrive in this process!