Cost of Irish retail distribution to rise

Cost of Irish retail distribution to rise

Economist John FitzGerald is thinking in his pyjamas again, going back to the theme of the very first story we ran on BBB back at the beginning of November. In his Irish Times column today he points out that the UK leaving the customs union would have huge implications for the retail sector, “… most of which currently operates on a British Isles basis.” (He wrote that, not us).

“Goods travel from warehouses in the UK to the Republic without problem. After Brexit, this will require new bureaucracy and customs duties, entailing a major increase in cost.That could raise prices significantly for Irish consumers, posing serious competitiveness problems for the wider economy. Because of the small size of the Irish retail market, going it alone is a high-cost option.” What he did not touch upon, but what is likely, is that some at least of the logistics chains will as a result pull out of the island of Ireland as their economies of scale disappear, so the north may be less well served from the huge depots off the English motorways and retail unit costs could rise there too. In other words, Brexit is coming to a supermarket near you.