“I would never recommend such a move to brands in the early stages of growth, even though the US is the dream for many
brands. Even then, it should be a step-by-step approach and if it
doesn’t work, they should pull out before incurring financial loss,”
Successful trading with a retailer in one market may provide a
leg up into the US, but is not an automatic shoo-in. Price pointed out
that centralized retailers, such as H&M may
help brands to get representation in other markets, but advised that it always helps to speak
to the local market buyer.
“Much depends on how joined up the retailer is. It may open doors but does not necessarily guarantee a listing,”he maintained.
And even with a listing, the brand still
needs to commit resources to stock delivery
and visiting the store.
Bulldog is a British men’s natural skin care
brand that has taken a measured approach to
launching in the US where it now sells in the
natural care section of natural retailer Whole
Foods. The owners of Bulldog first received an
approach by Whole Foods to launch in the US
in 2008, but deferred till the following year as
they did not think they were ready.
Simon Duffy, co-founder of Bulldog, ex-
plains: “We were initially offered 40 stores,
which wasn’t massive, but it brought a lot of
complexities. There was no big process or due
diligence on our part as we were a very young
brand, but we saw Whole Foods as an excel-
lent way to start.”
Since then, Bulldog’s owners have made
it their business to visit often and build good,
lasting relationships with its US partners. Six
years on, Duffy affirms that Bulldog is the
leading brand now in natural skin care in
Whole Foods in the US and has made it onto
the top shelf.
“We wouldn’t rule out doing something
bigger, but need the right partner at the right
time,” said Duffy, nothing that Bulldog now
sells in 14 markets worldwide and has recently received an “exciting” offer to launch
in another market. “But we’re not ready. You
can spread yourself too thin and it becomes
an exaggerated risk. More important is to get
to a level of stability in the home market,” he
Take small steps is probably the best ad-
vice to any entrepreneurial brand seduced by
the idea of going global. Better to launch well
in one area and grow organically than risk becoming overstretched
by the sheer scale and complexity of the US market.
The next In-Cosmetics show will take place in Paris on April
12-14 and the marketing trends presentations will include sessions
devoted to the US beauty and personal care market.
More info: www.in-cosmetics.com •