No-deal Brexit could unleash a flood of grey goods in the UK

Geometry UK CEO Michelle Whelan observes with CNBC

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There could be an “explosion” in goods sold via the grey market in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a British retail expert.

The term “grey market” refers to legitimate products sold via unauthorized — though legal — sellers, while a “black market” is when scarce products are traded illegally, or when goods are counterfeited.

Michelle Whelan, chief executive of retail marketing agency Geometry U.K., told CNBC that if Britain exits the EU without a deal, the price of some legitimate products may rise by more than 10% due to scarcity. Unauthorized resellers that may have previously bought overstocked or out of season items in bulk may be able to undercut prices, especially online.

“Here in the U.K., we’re used to open markets where we purchase goods from known and approved channels. With a ‘no deal’ there is a huge opportunity for a grey market explosion,” she told CNBC by email.

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