Coupe: ‘You couldn’t choose a worse date’ for Brexit

Mike Coupe

Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe has lamented the timing of Brexit and insisted “you couldn’t choose a worse date” than October 31 for Britain to leave the EU.

Coupe warned retailers would have little ability to stockpile products in the manner they did ahead of the postponed March and May Brexit deadlines, at a time when space in the supply chain is dominated by Black Friday and Christmas products.

He cautioned that a potential no-deal Brexit and the sudden halt of trading agreements – which could spark the introduction of tariffs and delays at ports – could make it difficult for retailers to import goods such as toys and technology, creating a “potentially disruptive” Christmas for consumers.

Coupe’s comments came just weeks after Dave Lewis, the boss of Sainsbury’s big-four rival Tesco, voiced similar concerns about the “challenging” timing of Brexit.

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