Analysis: Is a Halloween Brexit retail’s worst nightmare?

UK EU flags Brexit

As the two remaining candidates for the Conservative Party leadership both pledge to leave the EU on October 31 come what may, retailers are growing increasingly anxious about the Halloween deadline.

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe and Tesco boss Dave Lewis have both lambasted the autumn deadline in recent weeks, with Coupe saying it was “about as bad as it gets”, at a time when retailers are stocking up for the golden quarter. 

Coupe said it could create “disruptive” Christmases for families across the UK, particularly if the supply of goods within the electricals, technology and toys categories is also impacted.

Retail Week speaks to John Lewis Partnership finance director Patrick Lewis, Waitrose managing director Rob Collins, Associated British Foods finance director John Bason and The Entertainer boss Gary Grant to ascertain the potential impact of an October Brexit, and whether retailers can shield themselves from a Halloween nightmare. 

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