Comment: International is the new E-Commerce
Having worked in Retail Executive Search for a number of years we pay particular notice to where the retailers are investing - and given the lack lustre performance of UK market over the last 2-3 years, it is perhaps not surprising that the hot topic currently overtaking E-commerce is ‘International’.
We are seeing an increasing focus on international business development and, as a result, a keen interest in candidates that have experience expanding and supporting a brand across the globe in a variety of retail disciplines.
In the last 6 months there are been several announcements by retailers of newly appointed International directors, Cath Kidston, Reiss, The Dune Group and TM Lewin to name but a few. TM Lewin has openly stated that international sales are a critical part of their 3-pronged strategy for growth and fully expect that they will match UK sales within 4 years. They are not alone in those ambitions.
For those who have not acquired international experience as yet, it would be a good idea to start to build this into your career plan, whether you work in Marketing, Ecommerce, Sales or Operations, you need to be aware that early indications show you will be at a huge advantage if you can acquire these skills. Obviously being able to travel and be away from home will be important for this type of challenge but the rewards both holistically and financially can be great.
There are a variety of routes that both our clients and the wider market place are taking to grow an international presence including franchise, JV’s, Wholesale, Concession, online and indeed some retailers are risking opening company owned stores.
Where would you start? Well to begin, I would recommend that you research the international landscape. Who are the major international players in your sector? Which UK brands have recently decided to tiptoe abroad? How do they sell their product and which markets suit their offering?
If your current company already has an international presence make sure you register a very definite interest in becoming involved and be ready to join new companies in the future who will offer you exposure to the global market.
Emma Gamble, Director, Gamble & Yeates Executive Search
You can meet Gamble & Yeates at the Retail Bulletin’s Multichannel Retailing Summit,sponsored by GfK, February 1st 2012. For full programme details and registration, please click here.
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