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IRX 2019 INTERVIEW Tony Preedy of Fruugo outlines the roll of marketplaces in international expansion

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All retailers need to grow and, with ecommerce in the UK reaching saturation point – along with other pressures on retail such as Brexit and international trade disputes casting a long shadow – turning to key overseas markets has never been so necessary nor so difficult

In light of this, a whole track of conference at IRX 2019 is being devoted to international growthon Wednesday 3 April. Ahead of this vital set of sessions we spoke to one of the key speakers, Tony Preedy, chief commercial officer at Fruugoabout not just Fruugo’s role in helping retailers expand overseas, but also the growing need to do so.

Preedy has more than 25 years of experience in direct and digital marketing at Shop Direct Group, Otto Group and at multi-channel kitchenware retailer Lakeland. For the past decade he has worked on International Business Development, particularly using marketplaces. Preedy is now Chief Commercial Officer at, the global marketplace, where he is responsible for generating incremental sales for retailers that use Fruugo’s unique technology to reach consumers in over thirty countries worldwide.

InternetRetailing:At IRX 2019 you’re going to be speaking on growing international sales. Tell us about one or two big challenges that retailers now face in reaching new international customers – what’s your advice on overcoming those challenges?

Tony Preedy, chief commercial officer, Fruugo: Most retailers need to find affordable ways to grow their sales. Resources are constrained and so mistakes are expensive and dangerous. So options that are low risk, low effort sales growth opportunities are attractive. Marketplaces fit those criteria, and Fruugo in particular vastly simplifies retailers’ access to international markets.

IR: Tell us about one key benefit of focusing on new markets

TP:A key benefit of a focus on export is that it almost certainly creates sales the retailer would not otherwise have got. Domestic  investment potentially cannibalises income from other channels, but commission based marketplaces that operate on a “no sale, no fee” basis offer growth without risk. Fruugo, for example, only makes money if it creates sales for retailers, so goals are aligned

IR: What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned from your experience of developing international business – can you tell us something about that?

TP:The lesson I’ve learned is to get started, and then learn how to scale up. It’s too easy to stare at problems and suffer “analysis paralysis”. My advice is to find knowledgeable solution providers you can build a partnership with and go on a journey of exploration together. If you can fulfil UK orders, trading internationally is only a small next step if you use reliable platforms such as Fruugo.

IR: Aside from your own presentation, what are you most looking forward to at IRX 2019?

TP:I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of retailers at IRX and to learning about their businesses. Retailers tend to be dynamic, optimistic, determined and entrepreneurial people and therefore stimulating company. If I can I also hope to see some of the presentations by other speakers and to have my imagination fired by them.

Tony Preedy will be speaking at the International Growth conferencetrack on Wednesday 3 April at IRX 2019. He will be presenting a case study on How to grow your international sales, outlining practical lessons on the different  ways to achieve export-led sales growth at 11:05 am.


IRX 2019 will take place at Birmingham’s NEC between April 3 and 4. To find out more about the show and register to attend click here.

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