Blue Christmas without EU

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International delivery solution provider ParcelHero is warning a Halloween Brexit will come at exactly the wrong time, as warehouses fill with Brexit stockpiled goods just as supplies of Christmas toys and electronics should be flooding in. It is also warning of a potential sharp hike in the UK price of electronic goods and new charges on gifts from abroad come a no-deal Brexit.

A no-deal Brexit on 31 October would be the worst possible timing for Christmas, ParcelHero is warning. It says: ‘Either we have enough stocks to get through a no-deal Brexit, or for a traditional Christmas. Retailers cannot magic space for both.

“The UK’s available warehousing space is already bursting to the seams with stockpiled hard-Brexit goods of all kinds, including non-perishable foods and medicines’, says David Jinks MILT ParcelHero’s head of consumer research: ‘This will reach a peak just when the usual influx of Christmas products pre-ordered by all the major stores in time for Christmas starts to flood in.’

Cautions Jinks: ‘With both Conservative leadership candidates trying to out-macho the other over how hard their October 31st Brexit might be; and the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, vowing to leave the EU by the 31 October deadline “come what may”; things are looking potentially disastrous for the normal Christmas supply chain.”

He explains: “Christmas is a military operation for all retailers, who will have already pre-ordered much of their stock and have put most of their logistics plans in place. But this year there may be no room at the inn for Christmas goods such as electronics and toys, as the UK’s warehouses are already groaning with stockpiled supplies to counteract the potential explosive effect of a no-deal Brexit.

“Within the vital inner M25 area spare warehousing space is already down to just 2.2%. In normal times around 20% is the national average. In a perfect storm of stockpiling, retailers will be building up their Brexit supplies in time for October 31st, just as they must also be ramping up the usual Christmas stockpiling of electronics, games and other seasonal items.”

And ParcelHero is also concerned that, should the UK leave the EU without agreement, existing EU trade deals with many countries who produce electronic goods popular at Christmas will no longer apply to Britain, and the country could face new tariffs and delays on these items.

Finally, ParcelHero has one more warning on its long Christmas List of Brexit supply chain chaos. It is repeating its concerns that anyone sending a Christmas parcel to friends and relatives abroad, or from the EU to the UK following a hard Brexit, will face Customs chaos. Concludes Jinks: “The first time many parcel senders will experience a potential new no-deal Brexit EU frontier is likely to be this Christmas. It’s the only time of the year many people ever send parcels. When forced to complete unfamiliar Customs invoice forms, inexperienced parcel senders are bound to find them confusing for the first time.

“And, in the same way, any gifts coming into the UK from friends and retailers in the EU are likely to meet similar delays, and possibly unexpected duties and taxes. Even under normal conditions 12% of all overseas gifts missed Christmas day entirely last year, and over 30% were significantly delayed. Brexit chaos could mean 25% or more of all presents miss the Big Day,” he said.