The Great British Exchange, which helps retailers source the latest British-made goods for their stores, has attributed its expansion in 2017 to a rising consumer trend to buy local.
The company added 1,000 new retailers to its portfolio in 2017, shipped 10,000 boxes of British made product to stores and sold 200,000 units on behalf of its network of handpicked designer-makers.
As well as sourcing British goods for large retailers such as John Lewis, Dobbies and Forest Holidays, the Great British Exchange works with 2,500 independent stores including North Yorkshire based gift shop Moor and Tide.
Managing director Matthew Hopkins, who co-founded the Harrogate-headquartered business in 2014, said ongoing investment in logistics, digital operations and personnel had positioned it for further growth.
Recent recruitment includes the appointment of Anna Hillyard as web content manager and Matthew said further new roles would be created in 2018.
“The Great British Exchange was launched to offer buyers the newness and variety they crave and make it as easy as possible for them to stock the latest hot British brands,” explained Matthew.
“We are now introducing 15 new British brands to the UK supply chain every week and are giving retailers a point of difference in a high street environment that sometimes feels quite bland.”
Matthew and his team collaborated with John Lewis on its Locally Made initiative, which launched in Leeds and now operates in selected stores nationwide, from Aberdeen to Westfield.
The Great British Exchange has helped independent makers like Izzi Rainey and Isle of Skye Candle Company to find their way into the mainstream and works with regional independent retailers to offer them exclusivity on homewares, food and drink and gifts that have been made locally, helping them reduce distribution miles and carbon footprint.
“We have seen a far higher level of interest from retailers over the past 12 months than previously and a large part of that growth can be attributed to consumer demand for British made or locally sourced goods.
“We have also streamlined the logistics side of our operations, managing fulfilment, transportation, bar coding, and packaging where needed to make it easier for buyers to source goods from multiple small retailers.”
“We’re proud to be turning the supply chain on its head and providing the missing link between local producer and high street buyer.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement