Last week the largest ever UK business delegation took part in the World Retail Congress in Rome. Why is this important? The UKTI led group will deliver a boost to UK exports as a direct result of their participation. Best of all, business helped business to succeed and grow.
During the Congress, global retail CEOs shared thought leadership and tackled issues affecting the industry. The UKTI stand at the Congress also provided a platform for companies to realise new international business opportunities. Callum MacKay, International Sales Director, Neal’s Yard Remedies, said: ‘The UKTI stand was a haven away from the hustle and bustle of World Retail Congress and a great place for me to connect with global distributors.'
Chris Samba, International Account Manager at US retailer Cabeau, also visited the stand to share that he had successfully invested in the UK with UKTI support. Sir Ian Cheshire also explained to delegates that UKTI and the global Foreign Office networks were valuable as a local friend when looking at export growth.
The UK’s reputation for excellence was represented by some of our leading brands across various categories. Hamley’s, Boohoo, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Arcadia Group, Primark and more were all centre stage.
It was also fantastic to see all of the social media coverage we achieved. The #WRC2015 hashtag received 2 million impressions, with delegates sharing on Twitter the support they had received from UKTI’s retail team. You can see the full highlights on storify - my favourite tweet is below.
It was also fascinating to hear more about the global issues affecting retailers. Delegates heard that innovation is the new constant in today’s omni-channel retail landscape and only those that keep up will survive. UKTI’s E-Exporting Programme has been set up to help UK companies future-proof their offer to international customers. If you are an export ready business wanting to grow through online channels, visit gov.uk/e-exporting to learn more.
And while deals were being done in Rome, over 300 creative sector companies were in Milan at the GREAT Week of Creativity and Global Projects. Lord Puttnam, Sir John Sorrell and Paul Smith led an intense burst of media for the delegation. Oh, and there was a special appearance from the Teletubbies, who announced their global re-launch at the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo.
From retail excellence and deals in Rome to TV exports in Milan, last week really was a GREAT week for exports in Italy and for all things Grown in Britain.