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Distributors stockpiling for Brexit

Distributors Larsson and Held are stockpiling product so they are prepared for any eventuality on Brexit. Not everyone is going down that route, however. Oxford Products says it has enough stock to last for several months.

David Dearden, joint MD of BDN distributor of the year Larsson – the Corby-based British arm of the German Matthies group – said: “Brexit is an issue for us. We have got to understand what’s going to happen there. We have made some contingency plans and are bringing in £1m worth of extra stock this month to avoid any potential tariffs or exchange rate problems.

Larsson UK began trading in 2012, supplying parts, tools and accessories to the motorcycle trade. The group has been trading on the continent in Germany, Poland, Spain and Italy for more than 70 years.

Guy Mainwaring of Held UK says the uncertainties of Brexit have forced him to make contingency plans. His exclusive UK sales agency for the German clothing company has previously not warehoused stock; when ordered by dealers it is shipped direct to them from Held’s headquarters in southern Germany.

“I’ve had two years of being very concerned about Brexit and 12 months of being really worried,” Mainwaring told BDN last month. “Deal, or no deal, no-one knows what’s going to happen, including the government. But regardless of what customs arrangements or tariffs are put in place, there will be delays and disruption.

“After a long search for a solution, we are joining forces with a major UK distributor [which he did not name] to hold stock in part of their new warehouse.”

Oxford, meanwhile, is more relaxed. Andrew Hammond, MD of the Witney-based distributor, said: “Most of what we sell comes from outside the EU so we don’t see it as an issue with that coming through still. Maybe we are being naïve, but generally speaking we keep a lot of stock anyway so our cupboards will be stocked with months and months of stock anyway so if that goes down to one month of stock because of delays, it’s not an issue.”    

More in the March issue of BDN.  

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