Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

What More reports boost to exports business

Published: 14 December 2018 - Fiona Garcia
What More UK director Tony Grimshaw OBE says there is “a real global trend for buying British” and What More’s business is “growing at rapid speed” as a result
What More UK director Tony Grimshaw OBE says there is “a real global trend for buying British” and What More’s business is “growing at rapid speed” as a result

The Lancashire manufacturer, which produces plastic household products, has seen a boost in international contracts, thanks to “a global trend for buying British” and the support of the Made in Britain organisation, which provides an official marque to indicate the provenance of its products.

What More UK reports a growing appetite for British-made products but has also attributed a significant part of its international success to being part of Made in Britain, an organisation committed to supporting British manufacturers who are keen to make the most of opportunities domestically and overseas.

The business reported an 18% boost in export sales in 2018 and believes much of this can be owed to the use of Made in Britain’s official accreditation marque, which appears on thousands of What More UK products, plus a short promotional video about the business, the heritage of its products and the quality of British manufacturing.

The film was made by the Made in Britain’s marketing team after What More UK agreed to host one of the organisation’s regional training workshops at its factory.

The film was made by the Made in Britain’s marketing team after What More UK agreed to host one of the organisation’s regional training workshops at its factory.

Established nearly 20 years ago, What More UK manufactures a range of homeware, gardening and DIY products under the brand name Wham. It sells in retail stores across the UK stores, as well as more than 72 overseas markets; most recently winning contracts in Vietnam and Azerbaijan.

The business recorded sales of around £50million last year and employs 243 people at its sites in Accrington and Padiham, Burnley. Off the back of its domestic and international success, it has invested £11million in new manufacturing equipment over the past 18 months to boost manufacturing capacity by 25% and plans to expand its manufacturing warehouse by a further 200,000sq ft.

Made in Britain (www.madeinbritain.org) is dedicated to celebrating and supporting British manufacturers of all sizes by offering a marque of accreditation for goods that have been made or have undergone substantial change in Britain. The independent organisation now counts more than 1,000 UK-based manufacturers in its membership.

What More UK director Tony Grimshaw O.B.E. said: “Some international buyers assume that products made in Britain are high quality but often too expensive, and that’s simply not the case. We’re changing those perceptions by meeting with buyers face-to-face at trade shows to prove that value doesn’t necessarily have to impact on quality. 

“We’re seeing a real global trend for buying British and our business is growing at rapid speed because of it. It’s a great time for British manufacturers to tap into this trend and one of the main reasons we joined Made in Britain was to be part of a network of firms all striving towards the same goal – to showcase the diverse British manufacturing sector so buyers in the UK and overseas can make informed choices.”

Made in Britain chief executive John Pearce said: “What More UK is a stellar example to British manufacturers of the types of opportunities that are out there, both domestically and overseas.

“There’s an enormous amount of passion for manufacturing in the UK and it’s heartening to see one of our founding members harnessing the trend of buying British. What More UK has pushed into emerging and next generation markets and we’re proud to have helped give them the edge in a globally competitive marketplace.”

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