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UK retailers look to expand internationally amid strong domestic sales

Although retailers throughout the United Kingdom have had a rough couple of years since the recession took hold of the nation's economy, things are looking up. Conditions are improving so much that merchants are looking to expand their operations outside of their domestic markets into foreign countries, in nearby Europe and other continents. The U.K. government is supporting this goal, as it is expected that it will lead to further economic growth.

Going across borders
The International Business Times reports that there is new initiative in place, which was developed by U.K. Trade & Investment (UKTI) and several national retailers, called the U.K. Retail Industry International Action Plan. The source explains that the program will provide 1,000 merchants with capital needed for international expansion. This money will be given out over the next two years, until March 2015. Among the markets being targeted by U.K. companies are Mexico City, Mumbai, Istanbul and Shanghai, along with other big cities.

"This International Action Plan should make a real difference. It will ensure that retailers who need help and advice get it, and that the British government's efforts to tackle barriers to trade overseas are properly co-ordinated," said British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson.

The news source writes there is an increasing demand for British goods in foreign countries, which is one reason why the International Action Plan was created. Exporting U.K. products is expected to provide a huge boost the country's economy.

Domestic retail conditions improving
While the expansion into foreign markets will bring in additional revenue for U.K. retailers, these same merchants are seeing strong growth at home as well. Dow Jones reports that statistics from the British Retail Consortium revealed that retail sales throughout February jumped 2.7 percent from the same time a year prior. This represents the largest year-over-year increase in three years, the news source notes.

January's sales were also positive for U.K. companies, as total volumes climbed 1.9 percent from the previous year. Economists contribute this growth to improving weather conditions and more confidence among consumers, and there is hope that the trend will continue in the coming months.

"Against all expectations, retail sales rose this month to achieve the strongest underlying sales growth for three years," said David McCorquodale, head of retail at accounting group KPMG. "Relatively dry, if cold, weather and the occasional day of spring sunshine helped to lift clothing sales as well as drive footfall in the general direction of the department stores."




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Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale

130

Countries

9000

Customers

54000

Stores

159000

Points of Sale