Post-Brexit buyers will have smaller budgets and opt for cheaper alternatives, a kitchen retailer has argued.
Oliver Wicksteed (pictured), of Cameo Kitchens in Essex, explained that as ‘real’ wages are expected to fall next year and “very weak’ pay rises are outstripped by inflation, some consumers simply won’t be able to afford higher priced appliance models.
“With inflation remaining higher and pay growth slowing, gains on living standards could soon grind to a halt again,” said Wicksteed. “In short, with inflation increasing prices, sales will be affected unless wages go up accordingly.”
He claimed that he has already seen an increasing demand for alternative and cheaper models or makes since the vote to leave the EU.
He added that assessments of spending patterns must take into account living standards post-Brexit.
“Quite simply, some people will no longer have the budget and will need to make cuts in what they spend,” he concluded.
However, kbbreview columnist and Swift Electrical commercial director Malcolm Scott said that while Wicksteed made some good points he disagreed.
“The consumer who wants a Slide And Hide Neff oven or a Smeg Victoria range cooker will not accept ‘second best’, ” he said. “Price increases will cause a few customers at the margins to postpone, but usually such a purchase is part of a long-term project. I have no doubt that there will be pressure by consumers to get retailers to work on lower margins, but in most cases those retailers who offer the best designs, and those brands who offer genuine innovation, will be able to hold on to margins and still make the sale.”