Lack of choice in shops stops British consumers buying British

If retailers only stock foreign made items, then mostly consumers will only buy foreign made items.  Most will I guess not be willing to go to the trouble of shopping elsewhere, such as on the internet, to buy British.  Let me give you some examples:

  • I popped into Tesco in Yiewsley to buy a bar of soap – not one single bar of soap for sale in Tesco was made in the UK.
  • I looked at road atlases of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in a service station in Witney – they were all printed and bound abroad – I could not buy a British made Britain road atlas if I wanted at this garage.
  • Waitrose no longer label where their own brand products are grown or made, so we have no idea where the stuff we are buying in Waitrose comes from! John Lewis as a whole do say they are trying to source more British made goods but still most things in their stores are foreign made and many own brand items are not labelled with country of origin.
  • Visit any High Street clothes shop and I challenge you to find anything that is British made.
  • The British government and its Civil Service always try to source cheapest rather then trying to source from British makers whilst still providing value for money.

Britain makes great things – why don’t retailers sell them?

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6 thoughts on “Lack of choice in shops stops British consumers buying British

  1. Jeffrey Bridges

    This is all too true about the availability of UK made/grown products. Far too many things carry an implication that they are British, such as brands which used to make things here, then there are the items with a Union Flag proudly saying ‘Designed in Britain’ (but NOT made here).
    Our government, civil service, local authorities, Police etc. all buy the cheapest and fail to realise the ultimate consequences of overlooking British made – why are most police cars BMW’s and the like rather than Jaguars and Land Rovers or Mini’s.
    On Waitrose, we often wonder why half the time their vegetables are imported, Sainsbury’s are much better in this respect.
    So many companies have moved production abroad, Hornby Railways, Spear and Jackson, Bulldog, Record Tools, Parker pens, the list goes on and on, all so very sad. Spear and Jackson go on at length on their website about their heritage, but now make very little here.

    Reply
  2. Kalensky David Andreas, VOL-BECO-SFBE

    We are a Swiss family and have just spent 2 weeks touring England. We visited many shops (mainly grocery, garden centres, clothing, kitchen and interior design stores) trying to find British made products. I can confirm that it has become increasingly difficult compared to a couple of years ago. The only positive shift we have witnessed is in food: English wines, British grown fruit and vegetables seem to be more widely available as compared to 5 years ago. In clothes and other goods, we have had some lucky punches but In general I can only confirm the statements. It is much easier to find “Made in Germany” products in Germany, Italian products in Italy and even “Swiss Made” products in Switzerland!

    Reply
    1. ukmade Post author

      Thank you for your feedback. It’s a shame but it is hard for anyone visiting the UK to find any UK made souvenirs these days. When I travel I like to buy something local, like yourselves. I hope you had a great holiday in any case.

      Reply
  3. EspritBritish

    I am a french retailer of british goods (teaware, teas and homeware).
    Only 22 % of my range is british made : it is very difficult to find british made items wholesalers. I am looking for british made tea cups. I like Peregrine Pottery, their products are made in earthenware, but now I would like to find fine bone china tea cups. Do you know some brands I could contact ?

    Reply
    1. ukmade Post author

      Hi. You might have a look at my article on British made pottery at https://ukmade.wordpress.com/2012/09/26/pottery/ as most of these companies will supply directly to traders or direct you to an wholesaler they work with. I don’t know much about wholesalers though so I can’t really help you there. I know companies like Nisbets supply tableware from the likes of Dudson, Churchill and Steelite. There must be wholesalers out there who can supply you with British made tea cups so good luck finding some.

      Reply

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