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Changing Directions of International Retail Supply Chains

UK retailers continue to receive a growing number of online orders from abroad - and the trend is set to continue, according to recent research.

Changing Directions of International Retail Supply Chains

Figures from the most recent Delivery Index, compiled by e-tail trade body IMRG and e-commerce technology provider MetaPack, suggest that there will be 161 million cross-border deliveries this year but this is expected to rise to 384 million in 2017, if current growth rates continue.

Average cross-border order values are reportedly 55 for transactions in the EU and 61 for those conducted in non-EU countries, and as the UK e-commerce market matures, British retailers are increasingly looking to foreign climes for growth in online sales.

Women's sports equipment specialist Sweaty Betty is soon to launch e-commerce operations in Europe and Australia as it tests these markets ahead of potential store roll-outs. At a recent British Retail Consortium (BRC) event on international retailing, Mark Smith, finance and operations director at the business, said the company is an omnichannel retailer that will "only go online with the view to opening shops".

Debenhams' focus in recent years, meanwhile, has increasingly shifted towards international retailing, and the company expects a third of its business will be done outside of the UK in the next few years. John Scott, head of international business development at the department store chain, used his presentation at the BRC event to highlight the significant economic potential of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, and the consequent opportunities these emerging markets will present to the retail industry over the next decade.

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