Taking up an overseas post presents more of a challenge than many people might think. The logistics can be taken care of – particularly when businesses call on the services of specialist relocation companies like HCR – but it’s the creature comforts that can so often make the difference between the success and failure of a move.
“It is our business to manage moves for clients sending their employees abroad for work – and we have been doing it for many years,” says HCR managing director, Rob Dolbear.
“Finding somewhere for them to live, organising work visas, setting up utilities, finding schools – and even organising work for spouses – is straightforward for us. Our specialists are highly experienced and tailor their services to meet the needs of each individual. But sometimes it’s the little things that go a long way to helping people settle in, and we’re here to help with those too.”
One such comfort – as trivial as it may seem – is chocolate. Recent reports from America highlight the battle between Cadbury and The Hershey Company. Many British expats living in the US are reeling in the wake of a law suit designed to ban Cadbury goods being imported from the UK.
“In the United States, there are a whole host of specialist shops in which to buy comforts from home,” adds Rob. “We know about many of them because part of our service is to help clients’ employees familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. But what happens when even the specialist shops can no longer provide the opportunity to sense that special feeling of home?”
British expats living in the US – and their American neighbours – are quick to empty the shelves of chocolate imported from the UK. Many prefer the taste of European confectionary to the much more sugary taste of its equivalent across the pond. But shoppers have been quick to stockpile supplies in preparation for the import ban.
“There are around 1.3 million British expats living in the United States, and we have helped lots of workers relocate there to take up new jobs,” says Rob. ”Some were keen to move in order to experience an American lifestyle – but very few included chocolate in that. Many feel that US versions of British products are just not up to scratch because of the levels of cocoa solids used.
“So what can people do to get around these sorts of issues? Well, our experts are always on hand to advise. We have already been providing information to expats, with details of how they can still lay their hands on supplies of chocolate buttons and curly wurlys.
“There are many companies online, where Brits can spend their hard-earned cash and import their own chocolate – and we know just about all of them. How the ban is likely to impact on businesses who set up specialist shops, to sell products from the UK, remains to be seen.
“Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on this and other developments likely to affect our clients and their employees – and we’ll be doing everything we can to help them overcome them and settle into their new surroundings.”