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Tech vendors: how to get the best out of the Brexit punch up

Brexit Secretary, David Davis, says that if the EU tries to punish Britain for leaving, this could lead to a breakup of the EU, because other countries might hold referenda and vote to leave. Just one early salvo fired into the already bomb cratered Brexit landscape, and there will be many more to come.

All of this makes exciting reading, but it will take time to work out what may actually happen – and therefore what impact this will have on British Retail. The British Retail Consortium thinks it knows, and has recently said that prices could rise if a bad exit deal is signed.

The point is, we don’t really know what will happen.

Already, we are being asked to contemplate whether there will either be a soft or a hard Brexit, when the truth is, it will only be hard. The path to the sunlit uplands that all the Brexiteers envisage will take a lot of fighting on the beaches first; that much we surely know, no matter how much we try to console ourselves with the concept of a soft Brexit.

But none of this will stop the fighting. The referendum reminded us that we live in a divided society, and this will now be writ large as people take sides over the argument. My concern is that none of this will help us understand where our opportunities lie, now or in the future.

Yes, we already know that uncertainty is not normally good for business unless you are hedging currencies, but I think in this case, hedging may be the answer. Why not use uncertainty as an opportunity to take more risks.

Counter-intuitive? Not really, when you consider that so many other people – retailers in particular – are simply going to be more cautious. Standing out in these competitive, noisy and now distracted markets is going to be very important if you are hoping to get people’s attention, and even better, to do business with them.

So strongly do I feel about the opportunity that lies in Brexit that I’ve created a guide for technology vendors, advising them on how their relationships with retailers must change given the current climate.

Download our guide, Post-Brexit Britain: The Impact of the EU Referendum on retailers’ technology buying decisions. I hope you find it a useful read – it certainly beats just acting like everyone else and hoping for a soft Brexit.

The one thing I can tell you up front is that opportunity means risk. You already know the answer. The proposal is sitting on your laptop or in the notes app on your smart phone. Dust it off and think again – your crazy idea might just get you noticed by someone who is looking for guidance and leadership before HMS Brexit sinks below the waves.


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