Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

House of Bruar: Perthshire fashion retailer ‘desperately’ seeking new staff

House of Bruar.
House of Bruar.

The boss at Perthshire country fashion retailer The House of Bruar admits Brexit has caused huge issues as it reports a 10% turnover drop.

Managing director Patrick Birkbeck said the business, based near Blair Atholl, has been left desperately searching for staff.

Its employee numbers are down, but Mr Birkbeck said it has been difficult to replace workers who have left or retired.

The firm made it through the pandemic without making any redundancies.

Mr Birkbeck said: “There is a well-documented labour shortage across many sectors, in particular retail and hospitality.

“We don’t have that transient population where people are looking for short-term work.

“We are desperately trying to replace them.”

While other restaurants have been forced to cut their offering due to staff shortages, House of Bruar remains fully open.

“Our team have worked incredibly hard. They’ve got stuck in like you just can’t believe,” the managing director said.

He warned: “You can’t keep going for too long that way.”

Supply chain issues ‘a nightmare’

Mr Birkbeck said the “true effects” of Brexit will take at least another year to be felt by businesses.

Supply chain issues have been difficult for the firm to manage.

The House of Bruar

“The supply chain has been a nightmare,” he said.

“This idea that there was free trade between the countries in the EU – it is just not the case.”

The managing director said the firm has absorbed costs this year, but those increases will inevitably lead to price rises.

He said the firm would fight “tooth and nail” to put off any price increases.

Turnover down 10% as Covid impact felt

Newly published accounts for the destination retailing venue show turnover fell to £23.9 million for the year ending January 31 2021.

That is down £8.6m, from £32.5m in 2019.

Retail operations were “drastically reduced” due to the pandemic, but the sales figure is expected to return to 2019 levels this year.

glorious twelfth economic benefits
House of Bruar managing director Patrick Birkbeck.

The retail premises near Blair Atholl was closed from the end of March until the end of June last year with the country in lockdown.

Even when it did re-open in June 2020, Mr Birkbeck said business in the shop was slow.

The managing director said Covid-19 “severely diminished” The House of Bruar’s results for the year.

Pre-tax profits remained at £3m for the reporting period.

He said: “People were very nervous about coming out. It never really got going last year.

“Then we lost January to April this year.”

More staff are required at the House of Bruar.

In the interim, a significant investment was made to the shop, which has paid off since restrictions were lifted.

Mr Birkbeck said: “It took time for things to kick in – we’ll be up to being as busy as we were in 2019 now, but we weren’t in June, July and August.”

He forecasts that turnover and profits will return to pre-Covid levels.

The food hall has been kept busy, remaining open throughout the pandemic.

It also experienced a boost with more people choosing to staycation this summer.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]