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Retailers admit to supply chain concerns in new Wincanton report


Almost all (99%) of the UK retailers polled in a new Wincanton study believe improving supply chain resilience is “essential” to growth, however 15% of these retailers have admitted that they are failing to achieve the resilience their business success demands.

The logistics company has launched its Transforming Supply Chain Resilience paper, which looks to provide insight into the experiences of retail and ecommerce businesses in the UK and the resilience of their supply chains.

It found that mid-market retailers, whose annualised turnover sits between £100m and £500m, are enthusiastic about the prospect of collaborating with trusted partners to address supply chain challenges, with 89% agreeing that this partnership would make their operations more resilient.

Mid-market retailers are more likely (56%) than large retailers (38%) to believe that improving supply chain resilience increases their ability to proactively address market risks. This group was also more likely to think supply chain outsourcing makes operations more resilient.

The research also uncovers the true impact of the people challenge to UK supply chains, with 76% of retailers polled admitting it had negatively affected their ability to serve customers, and 74% believing it had negatively affected their ability to grow as a business.

Wincanton conducted the research in June 2022 and polled over 250 senior leaders of major retail and ecommerce businesses across the UK. Respondents were asked questions about their supply chains including their vulnerabilities, challenges and steps to address these issues.

James Wroath, CEO of Wincanton PLC, said: “Our report comes at a uniquely challenging time for domestic and international supply chains, as a number of factors ranging from Covid-19, heightened political and economic risk, and changing labour patterns collide to create issues for businesses’ operations.

“These must be addressed. As we demonstrate through our research, concerns about these impacts are felt acutely in the mid-market segment of the retail sector. These are businesses that do not have the benefits of the vast capital expenditure that their larger competitors have poured into supply chains to achieve greater resilience.

“For these businesses, it is increasingly clear that collaboration to pool resources and alleviate risk is the right way to go. We are seeing this in our own operations where our mid-market customers are seeking a partner to outsource significant parts of, if not all, their supply chain requirements to support their growth ambitions.”

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