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UK retail market explained at NY Produce show

It is commonplace now to hear experts declare that businesses must seek new markets, the so-called BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — are often the focus of opportunity. Of course, recent restrictions on trade with Russia have taken the bloom off that particular rose and exposed some of the risks of dealing with new markets.

This perception of developed markets as “mature” or “settled” is not, however, an accurate assessment. We live in a world where new technologies such as Internet shopping and new retail formats — upscale, deep discount, warehouse and produce sections in drug stores, gas station mini-marts, ethnic retailers and many others — are causing a shattering of the status quo.

This is happening all over the world, including America, but it is in Britain — the grand pappy of mature markets, the elder statesman of standard-setting — that this fragmentation of the marketplace is taking place harder, faster and sooner than in America.

This vortex of change is opening new opportunities in the UK. Some of these are in foodservice, and we have a great presentation by Tony Reynolds to explain that transformation.

The New York Produce Show and Conference brings in a retailer from outside of the country each year, whose role is to provide a perspective different from the many US retailers at the show. This year, the event is fortunate to have a UK retailer living at the vortex of incredible change.

Alistair Stone of Waitrose will be appearing on our “Thought Leaders” Panel at the Keynote Breakfast and give an important presentation on UK retailing at The Global Trade Symposium, as well as providing counsel to the students participating in the University Interchange Program.

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