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Brexit concerns mount for UK footwear brands at Micam

Brexit was the hot topic for discussion once again at Milan footwear trade show Micam this season. Drapers speaks to UK brands about their concerns. 

Peter Youell, managing director, Skechers

“When it comes to Brexit, we’re ready to handle any situation. We’ve made sure we can move up, down, left or right, depending on what happens. At the same time, it may not happen at all, so you don’t want to waste too much in resources preparing. People are worried about delays at ports and there’s talk that the French border will be tougher than the English when it comes to getting product through.”


Andrew Cory, sales director, Loake

“There’s a lot of talk about Brexit – the UK’s position is just so unclear. No one wants the deal that is on offer and there’s no clarity on if we’re extending or if we’re leaving at the end of October. Tariffs and duties are the big worry. We’re just one country against the rest of the European Union. Trade dropped off after the last extension to Article 50.”


Paul Rhodes, general manager, Gabor

“The thing with Brexit is that no one has a clue what’s going to happen. I do think that if it gets dragged out to January then that will be a disaster. If it is the end of October, then most of our autumn 19 deliveries will have been done by then. Some retailers have also opted to take early deliveries of spring 20 stock, in case there are tariffs or delays. If there are suddenly going to be custom checks, then where are the guys to do that job? We need to be training them now. People are nervous about delays.”


Jonathan Church, managing director, Joseph Cheaney

“We’ve had lots of questions about Brexit from our customers. It is on everyone’s’ minds. We are as prepared as we can be when we don’t know what is going to happen. We stockpiled leather for the original March deadline, then that didn’t happen, so we don’t want to be in the same position should there be another false alarm.”


Alan Pringle, managing director, Barker

“No one knows how to plan and price their product because of the uncertainty around what’s happening with Brexit. A few of our customers want us to deliver our spring 20 product before 31 October to make sure there are no delays to delivery. We can’t do anything until we get clarity on Brexit. We can’t worry – the show must go on.”

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