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20 May 2015

On Thursday 14th May, Pentagon, in association with UKTI, hosted Fashion Without Borders: New Frontiers for British Brands. This new event brought together around 150 of the UK’s top fashion brands and retailers with international e-marketplaces, and sparked lively discussions on new ways to reach global consumers.

Hosted at St. Ermin’s Hotel, London – a hotel with a long history of international intrigue, as a meeting ground for spies and covert operations – Fashion Without Borders set out a different form of international intrigue. It provided a blue print for where ecommerce is today, how it has grown and where the focus will be in 20 years time. International expansion is no longer seen as a nice to have, but an essential for many retailers, who need to look outside the highly developed, yet highly saturated UK market. Indeed Pentagon CEO, Laurence Guy, commented that if you are not selling into Asia, then you are already behind the curve, highlighting the importance of global expansion for British brands.

Global e-marketplaces from China to Latin America, Spain to the Middle East, came together to share insights into the needs of international consumers. Speakers from Tmall Global, Privalia, JadoPado, Trade Me, MercadoLibre, Lazada, La Redoute and Xiu, tackled difficult questions on what to consider when selling into new regions, provided insider knowledge on global consumer behaviour and met with interested retailers.

Pentagon’s co-host, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) discussed how e-marketplaces are designed to target an astonishing 85% of the world’s connected consumers. UKTI’s e-Exporting programme accelerates the flow of international sales by UK companies, predominately through e-marketplaces; which are untapped resources for many retailers. E-marketplaces can help lower the cost of entry to overseas markets, improving margins and giving companies the ability to forecast, which in turn ensures a more successful sell through rates.

“UKTI was delighted to support the ‘Fashion without Borders’ event hosted by Pentagon last week. With over 60 retailers and eight e-marketplaces present, this is precisely the type of industry engagement that UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme ( has been established to target and reach. We were delighted to support the companies who attended and assist them with achieving global growth through online channels.” – Denise Harris-Williams, Head of UKTI’s e-Exporting Programme

Platform for success

Fashion Without Borders, provided Pentagon a platform in which to introduce a small selection of international e-marketplaces to retailers, showcasing some of the leading sites in each territory. We have developed strong relationships with these marketplaces, illustrated by the support of our speakers; particularly those who flew over from China, Uruguay, Dubai and New Zealand to attend. Pentagon is able to facilitate meetings for interested retailers with e-marketplaces and can manage brand stores overseas, opening a world of possibilities for international brand expansion.

Pentagon CEO, Laurence Guy, commented that marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon have catered to the needs of consumers in the UK, by enabling them to buy great value items at any time of the day on any device they choose from anywhere they want. But in overseas territories local players tend to dominate, and for British brands it is almost impossible to export to these new markets without having a strategy for global e-marketplaces. This is where Pentagon can help.

Pentagon will present a series of marketplace exposés over the coming weeks, providing retailers with more information on each marketplace, the key facts and why you should be selling internationally.

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