We have twelve candidates for this year’s International Award: ASOS, the Body Shop, Clarks, Joules, Lush, Monsoon Accessorize, Mothercare, Next, Oasis, Puma, RS Components and Wiggle. Please read through their commendations below before submitting your vote at the bottom of the page. Choose your favourite from the list or select up to three in order of preference.
“ 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.”
- UK or Europe-based retailer who sells a significant amount cross-border or internationally
- International operations are integrated with the normal offering – not a bolt-on
- The offering is flexed for each target country
- More than ‘price arbitrage’ – global products delivered at cut-price: they should be a compelling destination venue with presence in the customer’s mind.
ASOS [show-irdx raso]
ASOS commands the attention of the public and competitors alike. 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. (http://internetretailing.net/2014/03/trading-update-asos-march-2014/) Currently losing money in China, ASOS is prepared to take a loss to get the business right. ASOS unerringly adapts to local requirements and is fabulously profitable despite – or perhaps because of – its apparently reckless global commitment to free shipping.
The Body Shop [show-irdx rtbs]
The Body Shop has a long-standing global expansion programme. Sometimes commendations are due the tortoises and not just the hares. Today The Body Shop has 2,500 stores in 60 markets worldwide, but the brand demonstrates enormous potential in new markets. For example, sales in India, the UAE and Indonesia climbed by 12.7%, 12.1% and 29.9% in the 2012/2013 year, respectively. (http://www.loreal-finance.com/_docs/pdf/rapport-annuel/2013/LOREAL_Rapport-Activite-2013_GB.pdf p. 71) The Body Shop and the L’Oreal Group more broadly are investing in increasingly affluent ‘emerging’ markets. The group highlights the strengthening of eCommerce as a ‘strategic focus’ in these regions especially. Global online sales increased 15.5% in 2012/2013 as local sites went live for two new countries, India and Vietnam.
Clarks [show-irdx rcuk]
Founded in the UK in 1825, Clarks continues to grow and innovate. Today Clarks is active in over 35 countries. In addition to Clarks.co.uk, the shoe retailer has transactional websites for the US, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the EU. Clarks, a brand, has begun retailing directly in these markets where previously it has only operated as a wholesaler. ‘There’s a sales benefit, but there’s also a brand benefit’ says Dave Elston, Head of eCommerce. The eCommerce site in Spain is introducing customers there to the more fashionable of the brand’s product lines. (http://internetretailing.net/2014/03/irx-2014-preview-dave-elston-of-clarks-on-moving-into-new-markets/)
Joules [show-irdx rjou]
Joules has this year localised and expanded the payment options offered online to German customers. As it looks to increase sales, the company has taken into account research on the surprisingly dissimilar preferences international customers in navigating websites and paying for their purchases. (http://internetretailing.net/2014/02/joules-gives-its-german-customers-more-choice-when-it-comes-to-payment/)
Lush [show-irdx rlus]
Lush has 900 stores in 50 countries (106 in the UK) and continues to pursue its international expansion through more capital-intensive physical presence as well as websites. In the year to June 2013 global turnover grew 18%. Lush opened its first New York spa in January this year and its first shop in Brazil will open this year.
Monsoon Accessorize [show-irdx rmns]
The first point of Monsoon’s four year strategy is to expand the brand internationally. At present Monsoon Accessorize operates in 74 countries, including 1,047 overseas shops. The company plans to launch international websites this year. The company will focus on international expansion and eCommerce in coming years, says new CEO John Browett. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/10623856/Monsoon-back-in-the-black-as-former-Apple-boss-boosts-sales.html)
Mothercare [show-irdx rmoc]
In contrast to its base in the UK, Mothercare has experienced double digit growth in international markets. (http://internet retailing.net/2013/10/mothercare-reports-online-growth-but-wider-uk-sales-still-down-despite-baby-boom/ and http://internetretailing.net/2013/11/online-growth-set-to-lead-mothercare-towards-profitability-as-an-omnichannel-retailer/) Last year an eCommerce site launched in the Ukraine, 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. (http://internetretailing.net/2013/11/mothercare-ukraine-launches-as-first-of-a-series-of-franchisee-websites-based-on-one-core-system/) Beyond eCommerce, the retailer is expanding its physical presence in China, where it now has more than 50 stores.
Next [show-irdx rnxt]
Next’s international sales grew by 86% during the year to January 2014, contributing 3.9% to the growth of the Directory business. Building strongly from a small base, international turnover is now £100m and expected to increase by 50% in the year to January 2015. (http://internetretailing.net/2014/03/next-looks-to-delivery-and-international-expansion-to-boost-online-sales-growth/)
Oasis [show-irdx roas]
Oasis has 300 stores throughout the UK and Ireland, and 79 stores across 19 other countries. In recent years Oasis has expanded via franchises to Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia in Asia, and to Colombia, Peru and Chile in South America.
Puma [show-irdx rpum]
Puma is a global sports and lifestyle brand that is increasingly a retailer as well. The retailer saw double-digit sales growth between FY 2011 and FY 2013 as it radically expanded its eCommerce presence. Starting off rapidly, Puma launched mobile-compatible websites across 23 European countries in 120 days, in four languages and three currencies. The brand has adopted a central eCommerce platform powering local sites adapted for each individual market and now trades across 29 countries, with 26 websites, in eight languages and nine currencies. Puma is actively competing with the customers of its wholesale division as it sets itself the goal of becoming the biggest Puma retailer in each market within 24 months of its eCommerce launch.
RS Components [show-irdx rrsc]
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.
Wiggle [show-irdx rwig]
Wiggle committed to international expansion early in its evolution and committed properly with deep localisation. Partnering with Ogone Collect, 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. (http://internetretailing.net/2014/04/64011/)
Next up: The Market Entry Award.