Local shopkeepers are having to work “incredibly hard” to keep stock on shelves and fear post-Brexit food shortages affecting businesses across the UK are here to stay.
Fast-food chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, Nando’s and Greggs have all reported issues with stock, menu changes or store closures over the last two weeks, with supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op and Asda affected too.
But corner shops and other independent stores are also being impacted, and owners believe the fundamental problems causing the shortages may not be solved anytime soon.
James Lowman, CEO of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), which represents more than 33,500 local shops, said businesses were worried about the future.
He told The Big Issue: “They are overworked and frustrated at having incomplete deliveries, deliveries turning up late or not turning up at all. And further up the supply chain they are also very concerned.
“The government has taken action on some things, like the change in self-isolation rules. But there are fundamental problems the government has said it won’t solve, like extending visas for EU workers in distribution [the government this week rejected calls for temporary visas for EU workers to help ease the supply issues].”