British Corner Shop: British food delivered worldwide
British Corner Shop was established in 1999. Can you tell us a bit about who founded it and why?
British Corner Shop began in the late nineties, operating as a small online business. All the orders were being packaged and sent directly from the owner’s home to customers all around the world. The business at this point turned over about £3,000 per year, however the owners decided they wanted to sell British Corner Shop. Mark Callaghan our current MD came across British Corner Shop in 2004, and acted quickly – seeing the gap in the market for an online supermarket for British Expats and British food lovers around the world. With a sound background in business start-ups and management, he was keen to take on this exciting new venture. He recruited help from Aeronautical Engineer, Peter Howarth (now Technical Director), to design and build British Corner Shop’s e-commerce systems, including the website, management systems, warehouse and stock control systems. Seventeen years later, the company has an annual turnover of just under £10 million, supplies retail, wholesale and bulk customers, employs over 50 members of staff and delivers over 10,000 branded products across 196 countries!
Why do you think it has become so successful?
As a company we have always been 100% customer focused, and try to ensure as much as we can that everyone is happy with our service. As we continue to grow as a business, our focus remains on our customers – as well as our team of employees. It is important to us that we have excellent people in the business, and that our team is happy. Happy colleagues mean happy customers. We are also big innovators and are constantly looking at how we can improve everything we do.
What kind of products do you sell?
At British Corner Shop, it is our mission is to provide British expats and British food lovers with their favourite household items, wherever they are in the world. Whether that’s Heinz Baked Beans or Warburtons Crumpets, we are committed to delivering the nations much-loved British favourites right to their door. We also offer a service to our customers which allows them to suggest a product if we don’t already stock it on our site.
Why would we choose British Corner Shop over other suppliers of British products?
We really are dedicated to responding to our customers’ needs. Our customers rate us as excellent on Trust Pilot – an independent customer review system. We have the largest online grocery store for British expats in the world, housing over 10,000 products and 2000 chilled items and are the international delivery arm for the quintessential British grocery brand, Waitrose. We take the utmost care to ensure deliveries are well packaged, so your box arrives in perfect condition when you feel that need for British food! We also have a no quibble refund policy to reassure customers, if on the odd occasion anything does goes wrong.
Does your stock change throughout the year to incorporate seasonal products such as Easter eggs?
Yes, very much so. Our sales increase during the Christmas and Easter seasons with seasonal stock representing a high proportion of sales. It’s also challenging flexing our team during the busy Christmas period – but we’re getting really good at it now, and we try to improve our processes every year.
Approximately how long does it take for a product to arrive once ordered?
It varies depending on the location and which courier you decide on. For example, an Expat living in France can receive a package within 4 working days – however, a customer living in Australia may have to wait between 7-12 working days.
What baby care products and baby food do you sell?
We sell a large range of Baby products including; nappies, food, baby milk and toiletries. We stock many key brands such as; Pampers, Ella’s Kitchen, Huggies and Hipp Organic Milk. Organic products are particularly popular in countries in such as China where baby milk has been in the spotlight. Mum’s everywhere just want the best for their children and we are happy to be able to provide that reassurance with the ranges we stock.
Is there a difference in what products people are ordering depending on where they live?
Our most-loved products tend to stay the same across the globe, Heinz Baked Beans and Tomato Soup, Fray Bentos Pies and PG Tips are always at the top of our best-selling products. Crumpets are another favourite, and it seems to be one people like to be reminded of!
What is your best selling product within Western Europe?
Currently our best-selling product in Heinz Baked Beans, our customers can’t get enough of them!
Can we look forward to any new products in 2017?
Our Waitrose partnership which started in 2016 continues to strengthen, so we are looking to feature many more of their products including items from the successful Heston Blumenthal range. We are also looking to bring on a selection of hampers and locally produced products from around the UK, which have great quality and provenance.