The measures were announced yesterday (8 September) by exports minister, Graham Stuart MP, and are set to offer immediate support to companies by ensuring specialists provide advice on online retail and international market-places.
PetQuip has also welcomed the launch of a new Consumer and Retail Export Academy, that will provide businesses with the “critical” knowledge, skills and networks needed to increase exports.
The plan is also set to outline long-term support for the sector as new export opportunities arise from trade deals being negotiated with the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
E-commerce will reportedly be “at the heart” of the plans, with measures tailored to help consumer and retail businesses develop international, multi-channel and e-commerce for the “changed retail environment”.
It comes as the value of retail sales made online has risen by more than 300% in the last 10 years, a trend that is expected to continue as a result of coronavirus.
Amanda Sizer Barrett, director general of the Federation of Garden and Leisure Manufacturers Ltd has been working actively with DIT and other government departments, as well other sectoral trade bodies, to help shape the government’s export strategy.
Barrett said: “We are very pleased to continue to encourage exports in conjunction with DIT, and we will be running more of our sectoral e-commerce webinars and other initiatives in conjunction with DIT’s e-commerce specialists, as well as signposting new specific sectoral international market and business opportunities and continuing to inform and support our Gardenex and PetQuip members preceding and following the end of the EU-Exit Transition Period.”
Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP said: “We recognise that coronavirus has brought challenges to many industries, not least the consumer and retail sector, where so much depends on face-to-face interactions.
“This package of support will give businesses the helping hand they need to adapt their methods and thrive in the future. More trade and investment is absolutely critical if the industry – and our whole economy – is to overcome such challenges.”
He added: “These measures provide both short and long-term support for businesses that employ so many people across the UK. As we continue to encourage businesses to increase their trade overseas, we will also ensure that they can take full advantage of the opportunities that will be unlocked through our negotiation of Free Trade Agreements with countries around the world
“The retail industry is a key pillar of the UK economy, contributing £104bn of GVA to the UK economy in 2019, with the value of retail sales reaching £395bn in 2019, a 3.8% increase from 2018.”