Founded 24 years ago in Glasgow, Quiz clothing stores can now be found in over 20 countries worldwide. We caught up with them to find out how they did it...
What does your company do?
Quiz is an international and omni-channel fast fashion womenswear brand, specialising in fabulous occasion, eveningwear and trendy casualwear at fantastic value. Quiz delivers a unique proposition that makes fashion forward females stand out from the crowd.
Our buying and design teams constantly develop our own product lines, ensuring the latest glamorous looks at great value. This fast, flexible supply chain, together with the winning formula of style, quality, value and service has enabled Quiz to grow rapidly into an international brand with 300 stores and concessions in 20 countries.
Quiz operates through an omni-channel, truly fast fashion business model, which encompasses standalone stores, concessions including Debenhams and House of Fraser to name but a few, international franchises, wholesale and online.
Quiz is headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland and employs over 1,400 people in the UK and Ireland.
When was your company launched, who by and why?
Founded in 1993 in Glasgow by Tarak Ramzan, Quiz began trading with three stores in Scotland. This business model proved extremely successful and many more stores have since been opened year on year. Quiz has now grown to over 250 stores and concessions in most of the major shopping centres and high streets across the UK. With over 50 franchises in Europe and Asia, the Quiz brand has also grown worldwide. The company employs more than 1,400 members of staff in the UK alone.
How long has the company been exporting?
Quiz initially started exporting on a franchise wholesale basis in 2008 with partners in key Middle Eastern markets. Recently Quiz has moved some of this business on to a consignment model whereby the Quiz UK team controls the store inventory across the different markets.
By applying the UK team’s expertise and refined fast fashion business model, Quiz has been able to significantly improve sales densities, driving more product through stores, ultimately leading to greater exports and turnover. The consignment model requires less capital investment from partners and is therefore a more attractive proposition, which is allowing us to grow our international business at a faster pace.
Our mission is to become a worldwide destination fashion brand. Today, have created partnerships with international groups in the Middle East and Asia including Robinsons & Co. To date, we have over 300 outlets in 20 countries worldwide.
What do you currently export, and where to?
Quiz is currently trading in more than 20 countries across mainland Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Quiz has franchise relationships in major international shopping malls and department stores including Robinson & Co in Malaysia and Singapore, and Debenhams International.
What motivated you to start selling overseas, and how long did it take?
When we launched Quiz our initial focus was to become a UK nationwide brand, however as the business grew our focus became international. We saw an opportunity to franchise our brand in the Middle East, as there was a lot of interest from key international partners. Over the years, we have built a network of over 60 franchise outlets across 20 countries.
What is the easiest part of exporting?
The process of exporting isn’t always simple but experiencing new cultures and seeing people all over the world appreciate your brand is a very rewarding experience.
And the most challenging part?
One of the most important parts of international success is tailoring the product range to suit local markets. This is something that Quiz has been very successful with as our international team ensure we optimise product ranges to cater for each market we operate in.
Have language barriers, currency changes, etiquette and culture ever caused you any difficulties? How did you overcome them?
Currently our international stores operate on a franchise basis with local partners who speak English and understand all local laws and customs so we haven’t had any issues in this regard.
Currency changes have benefitted our exports although we have seen some cost pressure on the supply chain. Quiz has managed to maintain fantastic value throughout its product range by working closely with our suppliers and through currency hedging.
Did you get any support when you wanted to trade abroad? Who from, and was it helpful?
We have had some support from Scottish Development International and Scottish Enterprise by way of introductions and contacts, which have helped open up opportunities.
What advice would you give to someone just starting to explore overseas markets?
Do your research and once you decide to enter a market ensure that you choose your partner carefully as it is important that your partner understands your brand, product, business model and has a similar culture.
Where next? What markets are you looking into and where do you see the company in 5 years time?
USA, Australia, Spain, Qatar, Vietnam, Central America, Germany, France.
Quiz have been shortlisted in the Large Exporter of the Year category at the HSBC Scottish Export Awards 2017 in association with Scottish Enterprise. Join us on 22 March to celebrate international trade across Scotland.