Leiston: Export boost for kitchen products firm George East Housewares
TRADITIONAL vintage British kitchen products have proved a hit in Asia and helped a Suffolk company enjoy a ten-fold increase in export sales.
Leiston-based George East Housewares, which manufactures bakeware and kitchen goods under the Tala brand, joined UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) Gateway to Global Growth programme last April 2012 to diversify into new overseas markets.
Initial successes have already boosted export forecasts for the year to �1.8million – double that of 2011.
Exports in 2010 represented just 1% of the company’s total turnover, but that figure is now up to 10%.
Having seen record sales figures for September and October 2012, the company is already planning its export strategy for 2013.
Managing director Dennis Embleton said: “As a small business, we were trying to grow our exports and contacted UKTI to find out more about any opportunities or potential funding which might be available for us.
“We attended a ‘Meet the Ambassadors’ event and I spent some time talking to the British Ambassador to South Korea who was very enthusiastic about our products and the potential for us to market ourselves there, so we commissioned an Overseas Market Information Service (OMIS) report to look at possible opportunities there.
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“‘UKTI quickly had set about organising a trade visit for me to go to South Korea and meet potential customers and distributors. The trip was very successful and the meetings were all really positive – so much so that within a week of returning to the UK, I had an email from a distributor saying that they were really interested and they have now placed an order with us, so they will soon be supplying our goods to various retailers across South Korea.”
The firm is now looking at moving into further markets abroad including Germany and America, and is looking into securing some financial assistance to exhibit at the Home and Housewares Show in Chicago in March.