Bedeck, the Magheralin-based supplier and manufacturer of design-led bed-linen finalised new business deals worth over £5 million on joint Irish Linen Guild/Invest Northern Ireland presentation at Heimtextil in Frankfurt, the world’s biggest exhibition for the fabric industry.
Among the contracts are a licensing deal with Sanderson, a UK brand that’s acknowledged as an international leader in bed-linen, which will see Bedeck takeover the management and product sourcing for its network of 40 concession shops in major stores such as the House of Fraser, and a £450,000 deal to supply products to a retail chain in Australia.
The Sanderson deal establishes Bedeck as a leading UK bed-linen retailer with an extensive network that also includes over 20 Bedeck concessions/shops, including one at Lisburn Road in Belfast, and seven factory outlets in Great Britain. The company also supplies bed-linen to top retailers for sale under their own brands.
Andrew Irwin, Bedeck’s operations director, said: “Heimtextil was a tremendously important show for us. It enabled us to meet with many existing and potential customers in addition to new suppliers. We were able to tie up several major contracts which will see the business build on its existing reputation for innovative designs and quality products, some of which we make in Northern Ireland but most are now sourced through our international supply chain.
“The move into retail is an exciting development for us and represents a further expansion of our growth strategy. We will continue to make extensive investment in design, brand marketing, product innovation and global sourcing from manufacturers in lower cost regions.
Design and product development are central to the business and we have developed a strong, in-house design team, working with state-of-the-art design technology.
The development of retail will enable us to market our brands through a national chain that includes House of Fraser, Debenhams, Selfridges and Allders.
Whilst we still manufacture products in Northern Ireland and use the services of other local companies, including Francis Dinsmore in Kells, Flaxall in Carrickfergus and Apex Embroidery in Lurgan, most of our production is now sourced from overseas to design concepts and specifications developed in Magheralin.
“This balanced strategy has given us tremendous flexibility and versatility. We’ve become a market-focused company with a strong brand portfolio that now includes Sanderson, French Connection and the Designers Guild, as well as our Bedeck and Colours by Bedeck ranges. Each brand is targeted at different market areas. This multi-brand and retail approach will help to drive the business forward,” he added.
Leslie Morrison Invest NI’s chief executive, welcoming the company’s success, said: “Bedeck is an excellent role model for other businesses in the textiles and clothing industry.
“The company was ahead of the field in developing the imaginative strategy that was later recommended in the Kurt Salmon Action Plan for the future of the industry. The actions recommended were based on the need for a sharper focus on market niches and on the development of new design-led branded products that could be sourced from global manufacturers to strengthen overall competitiveness,” he added.
Commenting on Bedeck's success, Irish Linen Guild Director Linda MacHugh said: "I am delighted at Bedeck's successes at this year's Heimtextil. It's a massive show with over 3000 companies exhibiting, and to make any impact you must have something unique to offer. Bedeck has worked hard to develop the right products at the right price and this has obviously paid off."