How do you find distributors for UK beauty products?

Question

Hi,

We currently sell beauty products which sell really well in the UK in major retail stores nationwide.

We have a sales team which work on an international level and we get contacted by many distributors who want to distribute our products but they usually have limited experience distributing.

I now want to begin actively looking for distributors with experience in strong markets e.g. Australia, Germany but I don’t know where to find and contact distributors?

Thanks,

Matty

Answer

Hi Matty.
I recently carried out extensive research on behalf of one of our clients in preparation for launching their hardware product into Asia Pacific markets.

By far the most success I had finding appropriate distributors to approach in Australia was via the UKTI representative in Sydney, see below, the Australian Hardware Journal’s annual supplier directory and via the websites of other brands already successfully imported into that market, who in most cases gave their distributor contact details on their main websites. Then a visit in turn to their websites offered up everything I needed to evaluate them and get in touch.

This last route I particularly liked as I assumed these other well established brands had already evaluated their distributors to some depth before engaging them.

Richard.Harper@mobile.ukti.gov.uk

Hope that is of some help Matty. Not beauty products clearly but I would imagine the process very similar.

If you ever need support with localising your brand please do get in touch, we’d love to help.

Good luck, Bill

Answer

Hi Matty,
Bill has some sound advice. Research can either be paid for using UKTI services as one example, or using international chambers of commerce or the local chamber of commerce. Eg in Germany you will be able to find out the trade associations and then contact their members . Use also E.E.N.

Like Bill I also look up similar brands websites so that i build a picture pretty quickly. You mention that you have a sales team that work on an international level. if they travel to the close by countries of europe they will have found out who distributes products by going into retail shops themselves and asking the shop owners who the different players are. Some countries even have the importer/distributor name on their packaging, especially as beauty products will need msdf sheets to have contact details on them.
If your sales team have also participated at the international trade shows they will also have generated leads and have found out who the real options are .
There is no easy listing or directory. Research is needed, and sometimes you have to be pragmatic and go with your gut feel for a company. After all spending too much money and a long time to get your perfect distributor means that you must also be capable of delivering on time and in full, having the packaging in their local language, getting the price right, format of the offering right, marketing support right.etc etc.
Exporting is different from your home market.
Gilio

Answer

Thank you both for the great advice,

How exciting i’ve booked a trip to France this weekend, what better reason for a weekend away !

I will be in touch with more questions soon.

Thanks,

James

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