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Going global: 9 tips from top Aussie retailers
Mon, 6th Jun 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

For growth-minded business owners, taking operations into larger, more lucrative overseas markets is often an essential step in achieving their ambitious goals. Afterall, the global retail market is expected to generate close to $USD27 trillion in 2022 alone.

By 2025, this number is forecast to spike by an additional 50%. And despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the global expansion of Australian and New Zealand businesses has had much to do with these figures.

But how are they doing it? Growing pains can be tricky enough in your own country, let alone a foreign country. For companies eager to make waves by expanding globally, implementing the right strategies, distribution systems, smart interfaces and processes is paramount.

If your business is considering setting sail across the seas, your first order of business should be to learn from those who have gone before you.

To help you on your growth journey, we sat down virtually with the founders of three Australian businesses who have successfully navigated the waters of international retail expansion, and asked them to share the lessons they learned as they extended sales to a global audience.

Aromababy | Founded by Catherine Cervasio in 1994, Aromababy combines the use of natural and organic ingredients with research to create natural, organic skincare for mother and baby. Today, the Australian made range is exported around the world and sold across a diverse range of leading retail and online stores such as Myer.

Cervasio emphasises that owning her intellectual property (IP) - the formulas for her products - was key to their success overseas. It was critical for both generating the right documentation for each country and navigating rigorous foreign approval and certification processes.

Fable Food | Founded in 2019, Australia-based Fable Food is a plant-based food startup founded by Michael Fox (founder of Shoes of Prey) and organic mushroom farmer Chris McLoghlin. Their products are stocked by retailers including Woolworths, Coles and Harris Farm Markets and served in chains such as Grill'd, as well as locations around the world including Singapore and the UK. More recently, they have launched into the US.

Fox says the confidence needed to start rapidly expanding overseas was only possible after they had ensured a good product fit in Australia. He also underscores the importance of being prepared for the complexity that stems from global growth.

VITAMAN | Founded in Australia in 1999, VITAMAN offers a range of natural skincare and haircare solutions for men using indigenous ingredients. Founder Clare Castles spotted the men's grooming trend early on to become the first company to launch a men's grooming eCommerce brand in Australia. Today, VITAMAN  products are sold across the globe, regularly featuring in top products lists and recommendations.

VITAMAN encountered a number of issues that were only solved when they found the rights distributors and applied a multichannel sales approach.

Download ‘9 tips for global expansion success' eBook

Hear from the founders of the Australian companies featured in this article, and learn the many insider tips and tricks needed to help you achieve global retail success.


Annexa is a leading NetSuite partner with extensive experience designing and implementing comprehensive and customised business systems, including payroll solutions, financial management, warehouse management and eCommerce solutions.