The majority of retailers expect their businesses to grow in 2017, despite the headwinds brought by Brexit and general political uncertainty.

Six in 10 retailers expect an increase in retail sales this year, with 56% planning to expand overseas.

The findings are from Retail Week’s landmark report Retail 2017, in association with Manhattan Associates, which is drawn from the findings of interviews with 25 top retail chief executives.

An unmissable window into the minds of the individuals at the very top of the industry, Retail 2017 looks at the threats and opportunities which lie ahead, taking in supply chain, consumer expectations, Brexit and more.

Despite 61% of retailers feeling confident about the year ahead, this is a sharp drop from the view at the beginning of 2015, when 84% bosses said they felt it would be a fruitful year.

The retailers feeling most confident about their prospects this year tend towards the home, electricals and value sectors. Grocery and fashion are predicted to be challenging once again.

Following the referendum, Brexit looms large in the collective conscience, with retail bosses viewing the uncertainty caused by exiting the EU as a danger to consumer confidence.

Retail chiefs retain a global mindset despite these tough conditions, bringing retail’s trademark adaptability to the challenge.

As one retail boss said: “International will be a priority in terms of future growth for the business. We don’t know yet how the effects of Brexit will play out, but we’ll find a model that works in an appropriate way for us.”

Access the report

Analysing the exclusive reflections from 25 retail leaders, it is clear to see there is much positivity about 2017. Access the full report at