Table of Contents
Influence of Brexit
Real World Comparison
Executive Summary 执行摘要
The purpose of the research is to discuss the influence that Brexit will have on the pricing and clientele behavior in the UK fashion industry. The research report helps expose the actual dilemma of the fashion industry in the face of an economy affecting the decision by the larger British society. The research question formulated is: How Will Brexit Influence Pricing Strategy and Buyer Behaviour in the Fashion Industry in the UK? The anticipated negatives effects that Brexit will have on the fashion industry makes it a reasonable choice as it brings out the true effect of the event on the British economy. The fashion industry delivers a significant percentage of revenues into the UK economic basket, and as such, it is necessary to establish the real scope of the effects that Brexit may have on its development. The research question ties the gap between the Brexit and marketing by describing the implications it has on customer behaviour in the long term.
While some people believe Brexit will destabilise most industries in the UK, the fashion industry stands to be one of the ones that will have it harsh. The industry not only relies but also thrives on the international market and will certainly surrender to the effects of trade restriction and a diminished operation area. For this reason, fashion companies in the UK continue to push the government to negotiate a deal that allows for some access to the European market. The study will conduct secondary research through a systematic review of various literature published on the subject. Research designs require extensive analysis of previous scholarly studies, which provided expert opinion regarding the research problem. It will assist in the description and understanding of social impact in the UK. The use of secondary sources in research goes hand in hand with the qualitative research method.
The future of the fashion industry in the UK remains uncertain at present. In itself, the fashion sector symbolises the range of the creativity inserted in the British society, which the industry produces and sells to the outside world (Turker and Altuntas 2014, P. 838). However, the industry is one of the major sectors in the UK that stands to lose their standings following the exit of Britain from the European Union (Breinlich, Leromain, Novy, Sampson, and Usman 2018, p. 4). In part, production within the industry relies on raw material, labour and market for the finished good mostly sourced from other countries as the local market remain largely unreliable. The basis for the choice of the fashion industry for research comes from the fact that its production and subsequent growth centres considerably on the European market.
The history of the fashion industry in the UK goes back to the 1980s and particularly, 1983 following the formation of the British Council. Later in the year, the London Fashion Week was created, further establishing Britain as a fashion hub in the international market (Gornostaeva and Rieple 2014, p. 38). The latter initiatives provide a platform for the showcasing of unparalleled talent in fashion and design. The British Fashion Council 2015 – 16 Annual Review (2015, p. 8) estimated the value of the fashion industry at £28.1 billion in 2015. Latest reports, however, indicate an increase of more than £4 billion in 2018 (Strijbos 2018). The industry enjoys a high standing and contributes significantly to the overall British economy according to the British Fashion Council (McRobbie 2016, p. 936). The industry employs slightly more than half a million people in the various sub-sectors such as wholesale, manufacture and retail with the latter providing the bulk of employment opportunities. Some of the most influential fashion companies in the UK industry include Burberry, Mark & Spencer, Next Plc, and ASOS. The goods produced and sold range from leather goods, clothing to footwear.
Influence of Brexit 英国脱欧的影响
The United Kingdom has become a force to reckon with in the fashion industry within Europe and beyond, stiff competition from its equally able allies and rivals Italy, France, United States, and Spain (Ahar Clement 2016). In the past, fashion companies in the UK collaborated with manufacturers from outside the region. However, events in recent time have seen the companies shift their focus to local manufacturers. Two years ago, the UK voted ‘leave’ to signify that the citizens favoured exiting the European Union (EU), the regional block that facilitates business between the member states with a 52% majority (Hobolt 2016, p. 1260). Players in the British fashion industry lost in the Brexit campaign despite voting overwhelmingly for ‘remain’ (Dodds 2016, p. 361). Referred to as Brexit and formed from the combination of two words ‘British’ and ‘Exit’, the withdrawal from the European business block is set to have significant implications for the nation.
Certainly, Brexit promises to shake things up a little and (Cuadros, 2018, p.130) and the relationship between the UK and the rest of the block may fall. Significant yet is the implication that this move will have on the fashion industry, which depends on the block for sustainability to a remarkable extent. Already, conspicuous players in the industry have voiced their concerns on the withdrawal and the consequences that businesses in the industry may have to endure (De Jonquières 2016). Essentially, the UK presented their withdrawal case citing elements in business operation such as pricing, manufacturing, employment issues, and trade. Further, the UK continues to worry about what will become of its intellectual property – copyright, talent, and patent – upon their exit from the union since the latter controls most of it. Cuadros (2018, p.131) accentuates that intellectual property is one of the most significant factors in the Fashion and design industry and an individual’s right to ownership is a major influence. The exit of Britain from the block will no doubt affect all these factors. Spinello (2007, p. 13)
Another significant issue is the restriction of the free movement of personnel and goods within and across the regional market. The EU deal enables free, unrestricted movement of raw material, labour, and finished goods and services between member states making business easier and cheaper (Bruno, Campos, Estrin, and Tian 2016). Moreover, design in fashion relies on the connections and amalgamation between the various cultures of which only free movement can facilitate. Restriction in that regard restrain talent/creativity and kills the industry, ultimately. Specialists, predict a slowdown on Britain’s economy should the restrictions on free movement take effect come March 2019 (Kibasi 2016, p. 14). Freelancing is a popular mode of operation in the fashion industry, and it allows companies to bring on board designers and models at the very last minute to promote and design goods and services. Unfortunately, the UK’s withdrawal from the regional block means fashion companies will not have any direct links or suitable access to talent and labour as they require.