Brexit has become less all-consuming for suppliers despite time running out for a deal, amid the sheer weight of issues facing the industry – with retailer behaviour of increasing concern, according to a new survey.

More than 80 suppliers responded to a survey by consultants The Retail Mind, in which they were asked what the biggest issue facing them was as the industry approaches Christmas.

Whilst Brexit was still the biggest single issue, at 33%, that’s down from 40% in a similar survey it conducted last month.

The cost of Covid-related issues came second, named as the biggest issue by 13% of respondents.

Meanwhile, a whole host of retailer-related issues have become an increasing worry: lack of collaboration and lack engagement by retailers were named by 11%, with the impact of the price wars (10%) another key factor.

Other big issues included demands for lump sums to cover retailer profit (6%) and a fear of delisting (5%).

“It is worrying to see such a high level of concern over a lack of collaboration and engagement from retailers,” said Retail Mind founder Ged Futter.

“Sadly, some suppliers are saying collaboration is virtually nonexistent at the moment and it is really damaging.

“Of course Brexit could be a factor in all this with retailers looking to pass on the costs to suppliers. But I think a key part of the problem is that retailers are facing a whole series of major issues, with Brexit, Covid and the price war all at the same time .

“They are drowning in them and as a result are not collaborating enough with their suppliers. This is the opposite of what the industry actually needs as it faces up to so many challenges on the horizon.”