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With Asda and Sainsbury’s in talks over becoming Sainsda - or is it Asbury’s - the retail landscape isn’t so much shifting as undergoing an earthquake. Does that mean a shake up for the rest of us, and will you stand or fall when the Richter goes off the scale.
From open all hours, to open all acres. The changing face of food, fast moving consumer goods, and a host of other business sectors, is a constant reminder that you shouldn’t be slow to react to retailing reformations.
There’s always change in the marketplace. Even as we contemplate how we’ll live well for less at the same time as rolling back the prices, there’s the obvious conundrum of what will happen in the supply chain. With the ink hardly dry on the retailer-wholesaler deal between Tesco and Booker, and names like Low’s and Safeway still found on upturned trolleys at the bottom of canals around the UK, another mega-merger between giant companies could make choppy waters for those of us who ply our trade in more realistically-sized vessels.
You may well have your business plan mapped out, with a reliance on supply to larger concerns, but you may not always be privy to those companies own corporate plans. As the business news headlines often remind us, many takeover targets get taken by surprise just as much as the public at large when the offer comes in.
How many of Britain’s vast post-war aerospace manufacturers were in the picture when the industry consolidated into a handful in the fifties, and how far in advance did the boards of Binns, Kendals and more independent department stores know that they were now being served as House of Fraser.
There’s consolidation in services too. Solicitors head office numbers are relentlessly contracting at the same time as partner names listed on the company plaque elongates. You could be left out in the cold, if you don’t land one of those bigger but fewer contracts for stationery printing.
Your future might not depend on designing a legal-sized letterhead, but your business planning really should take into account the possibility of unexpected changes in your client base.
With multi-billion pound deals routinely referred to Competition and Markets Authority, there’s even the possibility that merger activity can trigger tax changes. If the actions of the companies up in the stratosphere of the economy precipitate down to those of us at ground level, and cause the tax climate to change, Springfords will be on hand with an umbrella or parasol, as required.
The ASDA - Sainsbury’s merger is just the latest act of consolidation in the retail sector. It’s no different from the rounds of amalgamation that have been apparent in professional services and other parts of the commercial landscape. If you’re a supplier, a small retailer, or a customer, the way the huge corporations do business can impact your bottom line, your overheads, and your tax position.
To make sure your over the counter tax affairs are in order, no matter what the retail landscape, speak to Springfords. Our tax expertise is never out of stock and there’s always some advice right off the shelf that’s just right for you. When it comes to tax essentials, every little helps.