The fall in the value of the British Pound is having a positive effect on UK exporters, no matter their size and no matter their industry.
Antiquarian book retailers I.D.Edrich have confirmed the weaker British Pound has resulted in an increase in foreign orders.
This is perhaps the only positive impact of the Brexit vote noted by Shirley Edrich, owner of I.D.Edrich.
Indeed, Shirley says the impact of the vote initially looked bad but, “now we are seeing more non-European buyers, presumably because of the exchange rate difference, which is, in these uncertain times, very encouraging.”
The boost to exports at this specialist book dealer adds another piece of anecdotal evidence of a potential positive side-effect delivered by the vote to exporters.
Indeed, major economic surveys are confirming this trend across UK industry is serving to soften the blow caused by a slump in confidence sparked by the vote.
While a rising Pound is good for exporters, it is understandably bad for importers who see their import prices rise.
But for I.D.Edrich this is not necessarily a concern as the company doesn’t tend to import books as they specialise in British imprints, magazines and first editions.
The company was formed by Shirley and her husband David in 1966 and centred on David’s love for collecting books with a specialist focus on antiquarian books and war poetry.
David was such an expert on the subject that museums used to telephone him for advice, and their catalogues were sought after as much for the lists they provided as for what they sold.
Shirley was not happy with the EU referendum result as she recalls being taught the reasons of being better off in the EU as a child.
When asked whether freedom of movement on EU citizens would impact on the company’s employee base Shirley quips, “actually this may be a win for us. My daughter is a travel writer. If she travels less she might get more involved in the business which would be great.”
Complications to the Business Arising from Brexit
With regards to any pitfalls for her export business posed by Brexit, Shirley joins other small businesses who have expressed a concern that there there will be all kinds of red tape to contend with in the future.
“Meanwhile I am sure that the uncertainty of what has happened, and the fact that almost everyone who understands these things says we will be suffering for the next 30 years, is making many of our clients postpone buying decisions,” says Shirley.
While Shirley notes Brexit must now happen she urges Theresa May not be hasty in invoking Article 50.
“I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes, future generations will blame her for all the Brexit related consequences simply because she’s running the show. She needs to show strength, even if that strength makes her unpopular with the majority of the electorate,” says Shirley.