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Trade reacts as election shockwaves settle

Execs from Dreamtex, VMC, Cooneen and Pink Key Consulting share their thoughts.

With the initial shockwaves created by the general election beginning to settle, a number of licensing industry executives have shared their thoughts with The Source as to what it could all mean for their businesses.

With the Queen’s Speech finally set to take place, DUP talks ongoing and Brexit negotiations kicking off this week, clarity of leadership is one area that is concerning Anthony Duckworth, md of Dreamtex.

“The risks taken recently by our politicians continually astounds me, as the last year’s result of the EU referendum showed, the electorate will surprise politicians so why ask them something if you don’t need too? he stated. “To lose one Prime Minister on an unnecessary vote is considered a misfortune, to lose two…

“In our business we certainly take risks, you have to it’s licensing after all, but they are calculated and we don’t consider our risk taking to be reckless. The continued uncertainty surrounding politics will undoubtedly have a knock on effect on trade.”

Anthony continued: “Currency remains a concern for all of us who import from the Far East adding to the pressure on margins for the supplier and retailer. The recovery of the pound hinges on stability and a strong deal for Britain, but I am afraid running through a field of wheat is now the second worst thing Theresa May has ever done.”

Cooneen’s Mike Coles agrees on the knock-on effect to increased costs and further inflation.

“We were hoping for a positive and clear election this time round, in that [Theresa] May felt she had a clear path and would then focus on Brexit. This would probably have bolstered and strengthened sterling in the short-term,” he told The Source.

“Clarity of leadership over the next few weeks is essential for the UK to move forward. I don’t see this as a likely outcome and foresee further devaluation of the pound. Consequently, there will be a knock-on effect to increased costs and further inflation.

“We have some strong licences coming through, so we believe we have some protection with these brands for the next two years. However, licensors and licensees will have to work much harder and closer together than in the past, to ensure we have a place at retail and the consumers continue to spend that little extra for these brands.”

Richard Pink, md of Pink Key Consulting, remains optimistic, however.

He commented: “Provided in the next few weeks our position becomes clear, then I’m optimistic as this will have a positive effect on exchange rates which obviously has profound effect on our ability to bring licensed good in from outside of the UK.”

For the team at VMC Accessories, too, there is still plenty to be positive about.

“Retailers are looking for quality product and great designs to tempt shoppers to part with their money,” said a statement issued to The Source. “Businesses who can supply this will be the ones to gain ground in these tough times. Licensed products are always a good buy in hard times, as shoppers recognise the premium value of licensed goods.”

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