Brexit uncertainty not deterring shoppers, says Gekko

Shoppers are not being put off making purchases in the run-up to the EU referendum on June 23, new research has revealed.

A survey from field marketing agency Gekko has found that, despite warnings from both sides of the EU debate, 51 per cent of consumers didn’t feel the need to postpone important purchases until after the referendum result.

This was felt most strongly among older respondents, with 60 per cent of those aged 55 and over saying they were confident in the state of the economy leading up to the vote.

Of the 2,000 UK customers polled, nearly three-quarters (73.5 per cent) stated that their decision to make an important purchase would not be affected by the result of the referendum. Only 6.4 per cent felt a vote to leave would dissuade them from purchasing products, such as consumer electronics or domestic appliances.

Despite many big-name companies stating their favour in the debate, including Unilever, HSBC and Marks & Spencer, just over six-in-10 consumers (61.3 per cent) felt that brands should stay out of politics altogether and leave the arguments to the politicians.

Daniel Todaro
Daniel Todaro

However, brands shouldn’t fear any customer backlash, as 49 per cent said they wouldn’t change their opinion of a brand based on its stance on the EU vote. Only 21 per cent of consumers indicated that they had a negative opinion of brands that didn’t share their view.

Gekko managing director Daniel Todaro said: “What’s clear for brands is that consumers are currently very apathetic towards the possible economic impact of Brexit. Brands warning people against leaving the EU are failing to get the economic message across, as 32 per cent of consumers polled remained unsure or unaware of the impact of import tariffs being imposed post-Brexit.

“Looking at the high street, brands and retailers should not be putting off any product launches or promotions, as consumer confidence looks to remain high. However, brands should avoid entering into political debate where they can. These results are good news for retailers who might otherwise have expected a dip in sales depending on the result.”