AO World Founder: Brexit Costs Are ‘Wasted’ Money


The boss and founder of AO World, an online retailer, has condemned the hefty bill of the group that are part of its no-deal Brexit planning as “wasted” money. His remarks come after the revelation of stockpiling efforts that amounted to a total of £15 million.

Recently, John Roberts, swooped back in to take the helm following a two-year hiatus. He said that the group had heavily invested and has “done everything we can” in order to prepare for a chaotic Brexit, both in the United Kingdom and Germany, where it launched way back in 2014.

However, the no-nonsense northerner informed the Press Association that the cash could have been better spent elsewhere.

He stated: “We feel very ready and have spent a lot of money. I’d class that as wasted a lot of money.”

Roberts continued: “We could have invested that money on much (more) positive things.”

The retailer imports the majority of its electrical goods. Recently, it confirmed that it has boosted stocks of its most popular products by approximately £15 million in the last three months as part of the preparations for Brexit.

It came as the group also released a warning that it was likely to slump to an underlying loss for the year to the 31st of March.

Last January, Roberts jumped back into the hot seat after Steve Caunce, the chief executive of the company, stepped down from his position to “step back to a less demanding business role.”

The Bolton-headquartered company has been battling against tough markets both in the United Kingdom and Germany and dropped to an operating loss that amounted to £11.7 million for the six months to the 30th of September.

The shares of the company have slumped to all-time lows, having fallen by 36 percent in the last six months.

Roberts said that Brexit had “without a shadow of a doubt” been a significant factor in the recent trading challenges.

He said that the market is down by at least 15 percent, having been hit hard since the 2016 Brexit referendum.