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UK launch for online wholesale marketplace Faire; new trade and investment hubs to be launched by the government as part of export campaign

Image courtesy of Faire

Online wholesale marketplace Faire is launching in the UK and the Netherlands to supply independent retailers with goods from thousands of international brands. The launch is the first stage of Faire’s wider expansion into Europe. 

The marketplace, founded in the US in 2017, currently supplies 170,000 independent retailers across North American with goods from more than 15,000 brands. 

Faire offers a platform for independent retailers to stock their stores with goods from more than 70 countries around the world, including the UK. It promises its customers data-led insights into what is likely to sell well, competitive credit, free returns and shipping solutions that take account of the changes to exporting that have followed Brexit. For a limited period, the marketplace is offering free shipping to European retailers. Faire’s retail customers can choose from both European brands and from brands that do not sell on Amazon.

Faire chief executive Max Rhodes says: “We believe that with the right technology and resources, the independent retail community is an unstoppable force even in the face of insurmountable odds. We are thrilled to begin servicing retailers in the UK, and also recognise that the challenges facing the retail landscape in Europe are unique.”  

Faire was set up by Max Rhodes, Marcelo Cortes, Jeff Kolovson and Daniele Perito, who all previously worked at Square. It is currently valued at £1.9bn, with £315m raised from investors. It has more than 400 employees in the US and Canada and is actively hiring for a London office. 

Gerry Grimstone, minister for investment at the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT), says: “This expansion is great news for small businesses up and down the country looking to enter international markets and diversify their sales channels. I look forward to our continued partnership with Faire and wish them every success as they scale up and grow.” 

Jeff Kolovson, Faire co-founder and chief operating officer, says: “The UK represents one of our largest brand customer bases and is home to some of the world’s most unparalleled entrepreneurs. We’re thrilled to expand Faire’s retailer footprint in the region to help power small business growth across the nation, and we look forward to opening a London office to leverage the UK’s world-class talent.” 

• The news comes as the government today announces four trade and investment hubs are to be set up in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England at the start of a drive to promote exporting. The DIT’s exporting drive will promote British exports from across the UK, with high profile export campaigns set to launch later this year. 

International trade secretary Liz Truss says: “These Trade and Investment Hubs will help this country to an export and jobs-led recovery. They will mean we can channel investment into all corners of the country, and that exporters – whether they’re selling Scotch beef, Welsh lamb or cars made in the North of England – have access to the expertise they need to sell into the fastest growing markets.”

The four hubs are expected to have 550 members of staff by 2025. 

Last year, goods worth £98.4bn were exported from the North of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to government figures. Government research suggests that exports support 6.5m jobs in the UK, 74% outside London, and that businesses that export are 21% more productive. 

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