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Port of Felixstowe, UK. /// credit: Port of Felixstowe
Port of Felixstowe, UK. /// credit: Port of Felixstowe

UK´s Clothing Sales To EU Sink Considerably Due To The Changing Export Conditions Since Brexit

UK exports of clothing and footwear to the EU have plummeted since Brexit, according to a new study by consultancy Retail Economics and online marketplace Tradebyte. The study shows how complex regulations at the border — a result of the still ongoing post-Brexit trade frictions — have deterred the shipping of products to the EU.

Exports of clothing and footwear sold to EU countries have fallen from 7.4 billion pounds (8.7 billion Euros) in 2019 to 2.7 billion (3.2 billion Euros) in 2023, which aided an 18% slump in sales of all non-food goods exports to countries covered by the EU single market, according to the consultancy Retail Economics and online marketplace Tradebyte, reports The Guardian. Incidentally, the sinking export rate has continued to deteriorate despite a flourishing European e-commerce market.

Among retailers, small and medium-sized business were hit especially hard by red tape than multinationals. Even though the initial change and reorganization of supply chains after Brexit was to be expected, for smaller manufacturers, the best course of action that remained was moving production away from the UK.

Additionally, the UK also failed to make use of the EU´s growing ecommerce market. “Online retail is estimated to add 323 billion pounds (380 billion Euros) of annual sales to EU economies, but additional trade frictions caused by Brexit-related complexities are curtailing this international sales opportunity for UK-based brands and retailers,” reveals the report.

Overall, the only sectors to increase export sales over the same period were health and beauty, and DIY and gardening, offsetting some of the fall from clothing and footwear.


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