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Who do you admire?

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None of the retailers interviewed for this report were arrogant in their approach to international expansion. Instead each realised the value and beauty of listening and learning from others. As ever retailers look to their peers – both in their own sectors and in other markets too to see who is doing it right so who did they admire and why? 

" I think the international expansion of Zalando and Asos has been incredible. They aren’t just operating in other markets; they’re significant in other markets. There aren’t many retailers who have achieved this."

Shaun Loughlin, managing director of FreestlyeXtreme 


"You admire different facets of retailers. For example Burberry are very effective at branding internationally. Asos meanwhile have a very good service offering. You look at different companies that are doing things very well and understand what you can learn from different people."

Ben Dreyer, IT and operations director at Boden

"Ted Baker have had huge success expanding into so many countries, as have Top Shop, but Ted Baker have also managed to elevate the brand overseas to make it even more sought after."

David Abramson, international sales director at Animal

"Uber and Spotify. Like AO they are category disruptors and they manage to do this in every territory they enter."

Kevin Monk, group strategy director for AO.com and managing director of ao.de

"In terms of admiration for other players we often look at Burberry as the benchmark for International trading."

Simon Gaffey, international business development director at Karen Millen

"In fashion, Asos have made a pretty good go of spreading themselves internationally. More recently Farfetch are doing a nice job of bringing their distinct offering of high quality fashion in to Europe, driven again by a strong service proposition, but also a great looking website and an outstanding visual experience."

Robin Worthington, multichannel director of Office

"Boden consistently delivers on website ease, range assortment and add-ons and speed of delivery."

Vince Gunn, European managing director of Crocs

"I think Asos have nailed the balance between several core localised offerings for key markets that then appeal globally – this approach allows them to capture almost everybody, without having hundreds of small, localised websites."

Richard O’Connor, CEO of Big Red Group

"Nespresso since they offer the same brand experience and concept and you feel you can get the same experience everywhere. "

Michel Koch, senior ecommerce director, formerly of Maplins and Marks and Spencer. 

"Zalando have done very well and looking at British retailers then I have to say House of Fraser because they are in so many markets. Asos have done a good job so far although they have more to do around local currencies. They have provided compelling and inexpensive delivery and have set a good pace on the international journey. "

Colin Saunders, international ecommerce specialist, previously with House of Fraser and Tesco

"Asos, simply for being at the forefront and doing it successfully."

Jackie Hill, head of international at JD Williams
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