Two thirds of British retailers expect their overseas sales to increase over the next five years and name Germany as the market most likely to provide growth.

New research from Barclays reveals 66% of UK retailers expect sales growth overseas and 23% said their main target is Germany.

China, Australia, Europe and the US were the other destinations which made up the retailers’ top five targets.

The countries least likely to see increasing numbers of British names on their high streets are Portugal, Ukraine, Bahrain, the Czech Republic and Latvia.

The survey showed 68% of British retailers currently generate at least some of their sales from outside the UK but 80% retailers generate less than a quarter or their turnover overseas.

Online is now the preferred method of entering a new market with 62% of retailers’ preferring that tactic. Some 18% of retailers plan to open physical stores, a further 18% are exploring a joint venture and 13% a franchise partnership.

Richard Lowe, head of retail and wholesale at Barclays, said: “British retailers haven’t ventured in to Germany for a very long time and it is only in the last few years, as the economy has strengthened, that it has come to the fore again. The beauty of Germany, for clothing and footwear retailers in particular, is that it has a similar climate to the UK so there is no need to spend time and money adapting lines”. 

He added: “The retail history books are littered with stories of British retailers who bravely planted flags on foreign high streets only to beat hasty retreats. The US, in particular, was notorious for being a graveyard for many a retailer.”