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UK’s independent furniture stores receive Brexit windfall

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Boutique furniture stores have been the unexpected beneficiaries of prolonged Brexit uncertainty experiencing a significant boost in sales as Brits put house moving plans on hold, a new study reveals.

The report, from cloud-based point-of-sale software provider Vend, shows that smaller, boutique furniture stores are bucking national trends with 23% growth1 year-on-year (Q1 2019 vs Q1 2018). This is in contrast to figures from the British Retail Consortium which show that, nationally, retail sales fell 0.5% in March.

Digging behind the data, Vend quizzed2 over 2,000 consumers and nearly a fifth of people (19%) said they were planning to move property this year, but have ‘definitely’ shelved those aspirations because of the impact Brexit is having on house prices.

Furthermore, 86% of the people who are definitely choosing to ‘remain’ where they are, have turned to furniture stores to revitalise their current homes. With an average spend of £310 per person between January and March this year, the top items fuelling the boutique furniture boom include mirrors (bought by 28% of people), coffee tables (26%), cushions (24%) and wall artwork (19%).

Higor Torchia, UK country manager for Vend said, “It’s no secret that the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit has led to a tough economic climate and is taking its toll both on house prices and on large retailers.

“However, boutique furniture stores have benefited from the situation, as Brits decide to invest in unique, high-quality products that refresh and revitalise their current homes. As a business that works with thousands of small retailers across the UK, we can see first-hand how the independent sector is remaining buoyant at a time when many other areas of the economy are feeling the squeeze.”




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