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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS The International Award

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INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS The International Award
INTERNET RETAILING AWARDS The International Award
Every week we’re highlighting the shortlisted retailers in the Internet Retailing Awards 2014. Today we focus on the International Award.

Selling abroad is now in many retailers’ growth plans. But who among them stands out from the crowd? That’s the puzzle facing the judges of the International Award in this year’s Internet Retailing Awards.

The judges were charged with choosing a shortlist, with an eventual winner to be named at the awards evening on June 26.

According to the award criteria, the winner will be a UK or European retailer who makes significant sales either cross-border, into Europe, or to further-flung international destinations. But the winner will do more than this. For them, their international sales will be part of their core business, and one that adapts to meet the needs of each country in which they sell. Their website or multichannel outlets, in short, will be a compelling destination for customers.

Internet Retailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal said: “While the UK is one of the most competitive retail markets in the world, many of the very best companies are seeing significant growth from European and global markets.

“This award will recognise retailers who through brand extension, operational capability and market insight have created digitally-led or digitally-enabled international markets for their products and services.

“This award is open to both pure play ecommerce retailers and multichannel retailers, with the determinant of success being the way they’ve incorporated international growth and performance into their ongoing business as usual.”

There were 12 traders nominated for this award, of whom five have made it onto the shortlist. They are: ASOS, Mothercare, Puma
, RS Components and Wiggle.

wins its shortlist place for a focus on serving international markets that has remained constant from the first. After roaring into the UK market, the company began a lightning expansion into international markets and it remains entrepreneurial in its approach to expansion today. ASOS is set to turn over £1bn this year, but this year’s capital investment provides plenty of growing room as the online fashion retailer has £2.5bn global sales in its sights. Its Chinese start-up may be losing money but ASOS seems prepared to take a loss to get the business right.

In contrast to its base in the UK, Mothercare 
 has experienced double digit growth in international markets. Last year it extended its reach to Ukraine with the first use of a new customisable site template available to franchisees as the company expands the Mothercare and ELC brands internationally. Mothercare plans to launch 60 new overseas websites in 30 countries using the concept. Beyond ecommerce, the retailer is expanding its physical presence in China, where it now has more than 50 stores.

Shortlisted Puma is a global sports and lifestyle brand that is increasingly a retailer as well. Starting off rapidly, Puma launched mobile-compatible websites across 23 European countries in 120 days, in four languages and three currencies, an effort that has been rewarded with double-digit sales growth between FY 2011 and FY 2013. The brand has adopted a central ecommerce platform powering local sites that are adapted for each individual market and today it trades across 29 countries, with 26 websites, in eight languages and nine currencies.

B2B is not as exciting, but it’s the quiet giant behind the scenes. Almost 60% of RS Components’ 
 £1.2bn revenue comes in via ecommerce from around the world. The company is active in 14 countries and counting. With the complexity of dealing with 500,000 products and 46,000 packages in various jurisdictions, RS Components is a real stand-out. That’s why the judges have placed it on this year’s shortlist.

Wiggle wins its shortlist place for an early commitment to international expansion that has been borne out through deep localisation. Wiggle now operates 11 different sites in 10 languages. The company’s international sales growth speaks for itself, with more than 60% of its new shoppers now from overseas, according to recent figures.

Tom Davis, global head of ecommerce at PUMA, said: “After such an intense twelve months it is a real pleasure to be shortlisted for Internet Retailing’s International Award. We’ve had an incredibly exciting year in expanding our international business so rapidly and this is a great commendation of the teams' hard work."

The final winner of The International Award will be named at the Internet Retailing Awards 2014, to be held at One Mayfair on June 26.

A reminder too that voting is open for the overall Internet Retailing Award 2014, sponsored by Venda. This is our readers’ award, in which a winner is chosen by you from the full awards shortlist. Vote and your name will go into the draw for a free ticket to the awards party.

Join the conversation and tell us who you want to win the Internet Retailing Award by tweeting your vote to @etail with #theawards.

Get tickets for you/your team/your clients/your friends here: www.internetretailingawards.net.

We’ll be exploring the other awards categories in the weeks to come.

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