British Corner Shop delivers around five million typically British products annually, mainly to expats. The company used to run their operations from the United Kingdom. However, Brexit caused changes in regulations which created a need for a new European distribution center. The choice fell on Wijchen in Gelderland. Oost NL supported the company in settling in the region.
British expats must do without many products from 'home' in the country where they have settled. They miss out on their tea, biscuits, marmite and other authentic British products and brands that are less known outside the UK. British Corner Shop has an online store to meet that need. Unfortunately, Brexit turned the company's business model completely upside down. "Brexit has had quite an impact on our business, our employees and our customers," says Peter Brighouse, Operations Director of British Corner Shop (BCS). "In particular, lack of clarity and problems with the supply chain, logistics and changes in international laws and regulations have led to our European customers not ordering."
For that reason, BCS went looking for a new location on the European mainland. In this process, Oost NL was able to provide support. Marloes de Goeijen, project manager New Business at Oost NL, assists British companies in their search for a new location. "Common obstacles are the extra time and cost of transportation. In addition, complex customs formalities have been introduced and customs knowledge is scarce."
Search for new business location
It is no coincidence that BCS ends up in East Netherlands, according to De Goeijen: "East Netherlands is a conscious choice for many companies, partly because of its central location and the available space." The same goes for BCS. "The Netherlands is a favorable geographic location to meet both our incoming and outgoing needs. We chose to locate in East Netherlands because of the quality of the site location, good logistics infrastructure, access to skilled labor and supply chain considerations," Brighouse said. BCS plans to serve the entire European market from the distribution center. "Oost NL supported us throughout the process. Particularly in understanding the dynamics of the region and introducing us to key contacts."
British Corner Shop is now operational in Wijchen. The official opening of the distribution center will take place this spring.