Here in the UK, we’re pretty lucky with our shopping choices, all things considered.
Our high street is one of the best in the world (or I think so, at least!), and over the last decade or so, we’ve also started to see a steady stream of American or European stores opening UK websites, allowing us to shop without the added shipping fees and import duty. Brands like J Crew and Banana Republic, for instance, both have UK websites, as does F21, Ann Taylor, and many more.
There are still, however, some awesome brands I’d personally love to see with a bigger UK presence. I’m talking abot brands like…
Before you all rush to point it out, yes, I DO know that Sephora ships to the UK! The problem is that they ship from the US (Or France, or whichever site you’re buying from); shipping is only £6, which isn’t too bad, but there’s a minimum order of £75, many brands aren’t available for UK shipping, and you’ll pay import duties on your order. Then, if you decide you want to return something, there’s the added hassle of having to send it back again. What I’d love to see would be for Sephora to open a UK website, as J Crew etc have done. They have a site for almost every other country I can think of, so I’m not sure why the UK misses out: and if it’s lack of demand (which I’m pretty sure it isn’t), I’d be more than happy to do my bit towards increasing their UK customer base!
Old Navy’s brand stablemate, Gap, has a UK website – so why not Old Navy? I love some of their basics, and am always seeing cute, inexpensive pieces on US bloggers: again, they do ship here, but at an increased cost – boo!
I discovered The Limited a few years ago, on a trip to Miami, and bought a few of their pieces, which I loved. I still check out their website from time to time, but while they do ship to the UK, it’s on the same basis as the brands above, which means I’d only buy from them if it was something I couldn’t find anywhere else: I HATE having to pay import duties, wait longer for delivery of my item, and worry about the expense and hassle of returns!
Shopbop is one of my very favourite websites, and, thanks to a long-running sponsorship arrangement, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to shop from there frequently, at no cost to myself. Shopbop’s international shipping is actually much quicker than many of the domestic brands I shop from, but import costs (which are obviously not something they have any control over) are astronomical, and really increase the price of each order – to the extent that, if I wasn’t fortune enough to be sponsored by them, I just wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Finally, if you’re into the retro/vintage look, you’re probably familiar with Modcloth: and if you live in the UK, you probably wish they had a UK version of their website, don’t you? I know I do…
Any brands YOU wish were more readily available in your country?
I would die for Ann Taylor to be available anywhere in Europe!