Nearly half (45%) of small and medium-sized fashion enterprises (SMEs) feel unprepared for Brexit, and have cited it is as one of their biggest challenges for the year ahead.
New research revealed that one-fifth of fashion SMEs believe Brexit presents the “most significant threat” to their business in the next 12 months.
A total of 45% meanwhile identified new technologies as their biggest challenge, admitting that lower budgets mean they struggle to stand out from national and international competitors and establish an online presence.
A further 9% cited big-name brands and retailers, such as Amazon, as a threat, with fears that they will “steal customers” by offering lower prices and greater visibility online.
Meanwhile, 8% of SMEs said the decline of the high street will be the “hardest hurdle” to overcome in the next 12 months.
Michael Bevan, CEO of finance solutions provider Duologi, who carried out the research, said: “With political uncertainty continuing into the new year, SME fashion retailers are still unclear on how this will affect them and how they can prepare.
“Despite additional resources being made available ahead of an exit from the EU, deadline extensions scupper existing plans and safeguards, putting small fashion businesses in a difficult position.
“The economic uncertainty also fuels further consumer hesitancy when it comes to spending on significant purchases, as they are unclear on what the immediate impact of an EU exit means for them.”