39% SME sport and leisure retailers currently feel unprepared for Brexit
Keeping up with new technology and bigger online players stealing customers also ranked as top challenges
As a general election approaches following Boris Johnson’s decision to agree to yet another Brexit negotiation extension, new research finds that it is also one of the biggest challenges facing SME sport and leisure retailers in the next 12 months.
More than one in five (21%) of SME sport and leisure retailers said that Brexit presents the most significant threat to them, in the study conducted by innovative finance solutions provider, Duologi.
The new research also found that more than a third (39%) of sport and leisure retailers currently feel unprepared for Brexit as the UK enters general election limbo, and the future of European trading relationships are unclear.
Over half (57%) cited a need to keep up with new technologies as their biggest challenge, as sport and leisure businesses struggle to establish an online presence and stand out on the high street, as they have significantly lower budgets than national and international competitors.
Under a tenth (7%) of SME sport and leisure retailers believe meeting customers’ needs will be the hardest hurdle to overcome in the coming year, as they may be unable to access stock as freely following a departure from the EU.
A further 7% fear bigger players like Amazon will steal their customers, as it is able to offer lower prices and has greater visibility online.
Michael Bevan, CEO of Duologi, said: “With political uncertainty continuing into the new year, SME sport and leisure retailers are still unclear on how this will affect them and how they can prepare. Despite additional resources being made available ahead of an exit from the European Union (EU), deadline extensions scupper existing plans and safeguards, putting small sport and leisure businesses in a difficult position. The economic uncertainty also fuels further consumer hesitancy when it comes to spending on significant purchases, as they are unclear on what the immediate impact of an EU exit means for them.
“Keeping up with new technology and investing in the latest innovations is also a worry for a large number of sport and leisure businesses, who are restricted by budget and lack of knowledge in the ever-changing area of technology. Larger businesses are also able to outspend smaller competitors and invest in their own unique innovations.
“However, there are simple measures which can be put in place to safeguard a sports and leisure business that trades frequently with the EU. Alternative POS finance options allow small sport and fashion businesses to move with the times and the demands of the consumer, making existing business models sustainable and even increasing number of purchases and revenue, in the process. POS finance options are quick and easy to implement, even for SME sport and leisure retailers, and can make paying by finance as easy as paying with a card.”
The report by Duologi, Finance: an SME issue, surveyed 500 SMEs across a range of retail sectors about their concerns for the future and their knowledge and understanding of point-of-sale (POS) finance.
To find out more about Duologi and its full report, visit: https://www.duologi.com/download-sme