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The UK is missing out on a world of brands

Not that I want to intentionally give you the most annoying earworm of all time, but, with it being our global issue, the nagging, saccharine and repetitive Walt Disney ditty It’s a Small World came to mind this week.

Barely knee high to a surly teenager in a Jiminy Cricket costume and wearing a Goofy baseball cap, I was (un)fortunate enough to enter the ride of the same name at Disney World. The sight of all those animatronic little people singing the same high-pitched, looped track has stayed with me ever since.

It came to mind because while doing the research for the ‘Local Hero’ parts of our global report it struck me quite how wrong that song is when applied to the current brands on offer in the UK. Now I’m not for one minute suggesting we’re a nation that has been sceptical of Johnny Foreigner - we’re all well aware that selling to our friends all over the planet as well as stocking some of the globe’s best brands is important to future success.

But what I have noticed is that, despite the virtually limitless number of brands in the world, it’s generally the same names from overseas that crop up on brand lists.

And I’d like you, dear reader, to tell me why. I suspect it’s a mix of language barrier, supply chain/distribution issues, inaccessibility to samples to ensure quality, seasonal discrepancies and lack of brand awareness in the UK. In short, it’s a risk. But it would be good to hear why you think new brands from overseas, particularly those from Eastern Europe, the Far East, South America and Australasia, aren’t making the trip to these shores in volume. My inbox is primed, address below.

There is a wealth of amazing brands from home and abroad, the best of which we’ll be bringing you over the next weeks and months as we embark on another season - it just seems a shame that right now it isn’t such a small world after all.

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