Business secretary Vince Cable will today unveil the Government’s growth plan for UK retail, including a focus on boosting omnichannel retailers and overseas growth for luxury brands.
In a keynote speech at the Retail Week Live conference this morning, Cable will outline the plans, which Government hopes will deliver £500m additional value to the UK economy.
Ahead of his speech at Retail Week Live, Cable said: “As we rebalance the economy with more export-led growth, retail has an important role to play. With this action plan UKTI [UK Trade & Investment] will back small and large retailers across the UK to grow and expand into new export markets.”
The Government wants to assist up to 1,000 businesses, 600 of them SMEs, to grow internationally in the two years to 2015.
UKTI, which compiled the UK Retail Industry International Action Plan with retailers, wants to ease the process of gaining access to overseas markets and help retailers engineer smarter supply chains, after identifying these as the two key barriers to overseas expansion.
British Retail Consortium director-general Helen Dickinson said: “British retail is world class and given the opportunity can be more successful in markets across the globe. We are delighted that UKTI, working together with the rest of government and with the retail industry, recognises the strength of British retail and is committed to helping it prosper in world markets.”
As part of its omnichannel campaign, UKTI will help retailers target the rapidly growing number of middle-class consumers in priority markets where British luxury brands are highly prized. Cities include Mumbai, Beijing, Istanbul, St Petersburg, Shanghai, Mexico City, São Paulo and Warsaw.
The Government also wants to attract foreign direct investment here to enhance the retail sector, which it calls the “shop window” of the UK itself. It also plans to promote the UK retail sector overseas and increase the professionalism of the UKTI global network, which provides information and support to businesses.
In addition, the Government wants to export UK expertise of developing retail destinations overseas.
The Government also aims to help UK luxury retailers capitalise on the brand awareness brought about by the Olympic Games through the GREAT programme, which will comprise a series of British weeks in key countries.
Video: Retail Week Live- Opening speech by editor in chief
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Vince Cable to unveil Government's multichannel growth plan for UK retail at Retail Week Live