Yorkshire homeware firms eye Dutch market

Yorkshire homeware producers are set to discover the Dutch market with the help of British retail giant John Lewis’ top buyer.

The firm’s head of homeware and accessories, Anna Rigby, will join a trade mission aimed at helping even the smallest firms find high value customers in the competitive Dutch market.

The trade mission, which is being organised by small business support group Enterprise Nation, will take 35 British-based designers and makers to Amsterdam on September 22.

It is the third trade mission the firm has run this year, as part of its ongoing Go Global campaign, and is part funded and supported by private sector sponsors.

A two day homeware-focused mission is a collaboration between Enterprise Nation, professional services firm KPMG, high street bank HSBC, and international delivery firm UPS.

Emma Jones said: “Anna’s an expert and her presence on the trip will give small firms the help they need to navigate the world of buying step-by-step. Anna has seen hundreds of firms pitch their products and knows the ingredients you need to conquer the market.

“We’re looking for some bright new homeware firms to take with us.”

According to UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), Holland is an ideal test market for products, is the eight largest economy in Europe and is one of the world’s most open economies.

The mission will cover everything first time exporters need to know, including Dutch tax law, Dutch consumer tastes and buying habits, how to ship, and fund expansion. It will also deliver buyers from department store De Bijenkorf – the “Selfridges” of Amsterdam – where John Lewis has a store-in-store.

There will be a visit to the newly-opened Dutch branch of Makerversity and to the MADE.COM showroom to understand how these brands are realising success in the Dutch market, and a pop-up shop where mission goers will sell their wares direct to shoppers and get immediate feedback.

Emma Jones


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