What’s the difference between UK retailers and US retailers for Home products?

This is Matt from Hong Mao Glass Co., Ltd, entered in Hong Mao since 2005 and now with 17 years experience of foreign business. During the years the business of retailers had changed a lot, in-direct business not become to direct business – we used to deal with trading companies, agents, buying offices, importers, now mostly we deal with buyers of retailers directly.



The UK retailers we are dealing with are mostly the high street retailers such as Next, John Lewis, Debenhams, Laura Ashley etc, all of them will have designers along with buyers. They will have their own briefs or inspirations, we will need to develop new products base on their inspirations then the designer and buyer can pick up any new items they think will fit for their range. And I have to say that the most different thing between UK and US retailer is the product displaying. UK retailers we are dealing with, they will put the different products under a certain theme in a specific area, all the different products will with matching colors, patterns, shapes etc; for example we are supplying for the home department, you can see pillows, mugs, jewelry boxes, frames, candle holders etc as a very big collection, and there will be different collections in different places inside the shop then you can choose the ones you like, of course consumer will be very excited when they can buy the different products in same collection. That’s the strategy of most the high street retailers, to create a feel like “Home” for consumers, build up different on trend collections with different products, and consumers just can pick up more than they want as the retailers had worked out a full range for them. What we used to do will be a wide collection such as different sizes of frame, jewelry boxes, candle holders, clocks, bath accessories, coaster and placemats etc in matching pattern, also the pattern that maybe used for wall paper, bedding items, gift boxes etc in the shop which will look amazing for such large collection.



And the US retailers we are dealing are quite different from UK shops, we used to supply Nord Strom, Things Remembered, Tj Maxx, Homegoods, Target etc. They won’t have own designers a lot but they will source the on trend products to follow. Normally they will put the products onto the shelf but not quite sorted by colors, patterns etc. For example this shelf is for frames, and they will put all the frames onto it; and this shelf is for boxes then all different kinds of boxes will be on. And their buyers will be responsible for different categories like someone for wall, someone for desktop, someone for frames and someone for decoration accessories, the buyers won’t buy things in same collections as UK shops at all as the things won’t put together in shops.


As per my experience, comparing two different displaying ways, UK high street retailers will be more focus on the finishes and designs, as it is very important to build up very good, fresh looking collections to their consumers. US retailers will now more and more looking at prices, as the consumers will spend more times on comparing the different prices among the same type of products.


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