Sheffield pewter giftware firm forging success in foreign markets

A STAG tumbler

English Pewter Company, a Sheffield manufacturer of pewter giftware products, continues to grow its overseas sales thanks to a targeted exporting strategy focused on individual markets.

Over the next three years, the business aims for overseas sales to make up 50 per cent of its revenue, a rise from 20 per cent today.

All 1,200 of its products, from gin glasses to hip flasks, are manufactured in Sheffield at its Petre Street site. Founded in 1977, the company employs over 30 staff and supplies retailers across the UK ranging from Next to John Lewis. It was recently featured in the Discovery Channel series ‘How It’s Made.’

The business already exports its pewterware to more than 40 countries worldwide. Over the past 18 months, the business has appointed distributors in countries including New Zealand, Australia, China, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Sweden.

To support export growth, the firm has appointed its first distributor in Canada, a move set to grow its sales in the country to £250,000 a year. It secured the distributor after its products impressed buyers at the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Spring Fair stand at the National Exhibition Centre in February this year.

They are also in talks to open a US sales office in New York and are working with International Trade Advisers at DIT to devise an export strategy to target Japan.

Jason Sharp, director at English Pewter Company, said: “We’ve received a lot of overseas interest in our goods since we redeveloped our brand identity four years ago to focus more on our British, Made in Sheffield heritage.

“British-made products have a certain premium overseas, and I’d encourage other manufacturers to take advantage of this. If we can export around the world, so can you.

“By taking opportunities to grow relations with foreign buyers through organisations like DIT, we’ve improved our exporting in a short space of time from fulfilling small overseas orders to targeting international retailers via our foreign distributors.

“Conducting due diligence on new markets can be challenging, but there is a lot of help out there to guide firms towards targeting the right markets in the best way possible. Working with DIT’s Trade Advisers can pay dividends in building your exporting knowledge, and opportunities to present at trade shows alongside DIT can really help connect you with international buyers.”

Mark Robson, regional director at the Department for International Trade, said: Yorkshire-made goods, like the English Pewter Company’s, have a particular quality in the eyes of overseas buyers, and we’d urge any local manufacturer to see beyond the UK market and take the leap into exporting.”



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