If there was ever any doubt, the last few years have really highlighted that the British high street is not exempt from the impact of events further afield than our small island’s shores. The war in Ukraine has further increased economic uncertainty right here in the UK at a time when businesses – particularly small and medium sized companies – have been left more vulnerable after the ravages of Covid.
Did you know Russia produces 40% of the world’s palladium?
Although neither Russia nor Ukraine are big trading partners of the UK, intricately interconnected global economics mean that the knock-on effects of their conflict are abundant and far reaching. For example, Russia produces 40% of the world’s palladium – a key component for catalytic converters in the automotive trade.
Sanctions on Russia and the disruption to supply chains across the globe are causing massive delays in getting these things to the UK and driving up the cost when they do finally make it to land.
In addition to goods not being available or being slow to reach UK warehouses and shop floors, UK businesses will undoubtedly be affected by the rising cost of energy and soaring inflation levels, both exacerbated by the conflict in Europe. However, increased costs across the board are just part of the story!!
A shift in buying patterns amid Covid and uncertainty
We have seen retail trends shift beyond recognition during the Covid pandemic, with consumers switching to online buying when in-store purchases were not an option and also staying on the computer even now that restrictions have eased and gone. There has also been a significant change in the types of goods people have been choosing to spend their money on; home gym equipment soared, whilst many of us sought solace on the television through streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Interestingly, the drop in membership figures announced this week for the former suggest that we may be returning to some sort of equilibrium when it comes to our buying habits.
The uncertainty generated by an ongoing war like that in Ukraine has had just as significant an impact on buying habits here in the UK. Shoppers are exercising far more caution and consideration before parting with their cash, evaluating whether higher costs are really worth it, whilst others have been simply priced out of the market for some goods as inflation soars above 7% for the first time in decades.
Keeping an eye on your bottom line
All of this naturally means that now – more than ever – businesses in every sector will need to have the tightest control over their bottom line to weather the storm and as we well know, navigating unpredictability is far easier with tighter stock control.
In short, we need the right products in the right place at the right time.
It’s only by understanding the stock we have available, where it sits and what the demand is looking like that we can make good, informed decisions going into periods of uncertainty and come out the other side stronger than ever.
Whether your team need a little stock taking training or you’d like to engage a professional stock taking service to support your business, we can help. Contact the team today to find out more.