BUYERS ARE MORE FOCUSED ON BRITISH BRANDS
Sarah Wallbank, CEO of Devon based August Race, a company that develops and manufactures maintenance and detailing marine products, has 300 stockists throughout the UK and a growing international distribution network.
Sarah says she thinks ‘like the majority of business people’ and is of the opinion that it is “the uncertainty regarding Brexit and more specifically post-Brexit trade terms that is potentially affecting market confidence.”
She says once these are fully outlined and confirmed “we can adjust to working within the new parameters and confidence and associated investment will organically rally.”
August Race, says Sarah, has expanded considerably as a business this year.
“We have invested in developing a next-generation range of hydro-phobic coatings which we debuted at the Southampton Boat Show and we also conducted a test launch of our new capsule range of August Race shore clothing which was incredibly well received.”
This, she says, combined with strong sales of her marine maintenance brand means that sales are up this year.
As a footnote she’s noticed a shift towards buyers focussing more on buying British brands.
“I think everybody has acknowledged that we are entering some months of uncertainty so the way we do business may have to alter to meet that,” she added. That said, she says she hasn't spoken to anybody who is finding it so daunting or catastrophic that they are concerned about having to cease trading.
As to the future, Sarah says it is impossible to say how Brexit will affect the marine sector in the UK so she won’t comment on that specifically. Even so, she did say that she thinks marine “is an extraordinarily strong sector with a rich heritage that is driven by innovation and dynamic individuals which is a hugely valuable set of assets in turbulent times.”