Iceland CEO Malcolm Walker on Brexit: ‘It’s not the end of the world’

With many British businesses still assessing the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, Malcolm Walker, the chief executive of high street stalwart Iceland, believes things will settle down and says the decision “isn’t the end of the world” for retailers.

In the build-up to the European Referendum vote, there has been plenty of talk of rising food prices and supermarket chains in particular having their supply chains – which heavily rely on the EU for supply in areas such as meat and fresh produce – severely disrupted.

And speaking to Marketing Week earlier today (June 24), Mike Watkins, head of retailer and business insight for Nielsen UK, predicted an “inevitable impact on disposable income” as consumer confidence starts to “fall and wobble”.

However, Iceland’s chief executive Malcolm Walker has a calmer perspective.

He told Marketing Week: “Everybody is surprised but everything seems a bit feral at the minute and I am sure it will settle down.”

Despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland all backing to stay in the EU, Remain only secured 48% of British votes, as the Leave campaign won with 52%.

The pound has already fallen to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, while Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed he will resign, with new leadership expected by the time of the Conservative party conference in October.

But Walker does not believe the economic repercussions will be too severe for major British businesses. He added: “The reality is the stock market and exchange rate is still better than it was in February so it is not the end of the world and all of this will settle down.”

Do you agree with Walker on Brexit? Let us know in the comments below

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