British Corner Shop sold over 6,000 popular UK goods to expats around the world

A popular online retailer specialising in selling British goods to expats has entered administration after struggling with the impact of Brexit and covid.

British Corner Shop – the leading international exporter of UK food products, selling over 6,000 household brands to a global customer base – has ceased trading after more than 20 years.

All 20 employees of the Bristol-based retailer have been made redundant as a result.

BCS appointed Jonathan Dunn and Matthew Whitchurch of specialist business advisory firm FRP as joint administrators on 2 January, who said the business had suffered “ongoing financial challenges following impacts of Brexit and the pandemic”.

Dunn said: “British Corner Shop faced significant operational challenges over the past few years and, regrettably, was no longer able to meet its financial obligations.

“Our focus now is on supporting staff with their applications to the redundancy payments service as we wind down the business.”

A message seen on the grocer’s website warns customers the company is “no longer able to respond to any customer or supplier queries”.

BCS was a popular platform for many Brits around the world who relied on it for their favourite tea and biscuits, as well as other beloved brands like Marks & Spencer’s Percy Pigs, due to a high-profile link-up with the grocer in 2021.

News of the business ending came as a shock to many customers, who took to social media to grieve the end of the business, which was originally founded in 2004.

But this marked the second time BCS entered administration in the space of just a year.

Last year, British Corner Shop Ltd was sold out of administration to private equity firm Rcapital, resulting in 51 jobs being saved – 28 jobs in the UK and 23 jobs in The Netherlands, where it had a distribution centre from which it supplied its customer base globally.

The product, sales, marketing, and customer service teams were all based in the UK.

At the time, CEO Tom Carroll said the sale marked a “new phase in the sustainable growth of British Corner Shop – with Rcapital’s investment and expertise, we can consolidate our market-leading position, build our global customer base and, as a result, help our valued suppliers expand their markets.”

However, the company struggled to make a recovery since then against an increasingly hard economic landscape for consumers and businesses alike.

Head of marketing Jonathan Farrar posted on LinkedIn today, 9 January: “It’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to British Corner Shop. It’s time for me to move on.

“It’s rare that you work for a company where you are genuinely passionate about the service you are providing your customers.

“Over 700,000 British expats all over the world used BCS and we reached over 50,000 Trustpilot reviews. We were loved. I’m honoured to have steered the marketing department and help grow fivefold in six short years. I will miss this brand and the customers.”

E-commerce specialist Dean Fraser-Philips also commented on LinkedIn: “Another day, another international business closes – this time the British Corner Shop.

“This business based in the UK has been a saviour for thousands of British people living overseas, especially in Europe. Just two years ago they were the go-to place for British food. Stocking many British shops and restaurants.”

He added: “It’s going to be a seriously tough year for many businesses.”