According to a new report from the Open University Business School we are not much bothered as a nation about supporting British industry. It seems that as consumers we are more driven by price and brand than by quality or value for money.
The research, carried out by the Small Enterprise Research Team (Sert), was based on responses from 350 small businesses. The businesses were asked to give their opinions about their customers attitudes as well as their own. The results show that while 36% of respondents think that consumers are predisposed to buy British only 28% would buy British for their own business and even then only if the price was as good or better.
There is also a marked gender gap when it comes to supporting British produce. It seems women far outstrip men in supporting a Buy British policy with 28% of women compared with 15% of men supporting the policy even if it cost more to do so.
The survey also investigates people’s perceptions about other countries. It looks in some detail at the threats and opportunities posed by key nations. Over 40% of the sample said they anticipated neither threat not opportunity from overseas. It is likely that most of these people haven’t actually thought it through.
The greatest perceived threats come from China, India and Pakistan while opportunities are thought to abound in Western Europe and North America.
And if the British aren’t buying British who is? Well, it would appear that we don’t hold out great hopes for our export trade either. Just 24% of respondents said that they were anticipating a modest or significant increase in overseas trade.
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