AO.com boss: We wasted millions on Brexit 'non-event'

John Roberts

AO.com boss John Roberts is blaming Brexit for ongoing consumer uncertainty and admits the white goods retailer learned a “load of lessons” from investing millions in its contingency plan the first time around.

With the original Brexit date planned for March 29, AO – like many other retailers – stockpiled for what Roberts is now calling a “non-event”.

“We invested about £15m of extra stock as we were approaching the [original] Brexit date and it’s important to understand that it isn’t a case of we will place those orders and they can all be delivered next week.

“There’s a huge amount of planning goes into that from organisation through the supply chain with the brands and the manufacturer of those products.

“That was a huge process and cost that the business took on to manage that, then it all became a non-eventm so we’re unwinding that process as we work through,” Roberts said.

As the new October 31 deadline for the UK to Brexit approaches, the online retailer is having to repeat the stockpiling process in case of a no-deal.

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