Grosvenor Shirts sizes up new export opportunities with £500,000 investment

Jun 18, 2009

Strabane-based Grosvenor Shirts is set to break into global markets with a £500,000 investment project supported by Invest Northern Ireland and two private investors.

Grosvenor Shirts, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is a designer and manufacturer of quality gentlemen’s shirts. Grosvenor has successfully built business in the competitive London fashion market with both its ready to wear range and made to measure service.

Invest NI has offered £71,800 towards the £500,000 investment project, which will see the company invest further in its manufacturing capability at the Strabane site and target global markets including UAE and South Africa via a franchising initiative. Grosvenor has also secured £100,000 and the expertise of two private investors – Stan Tucker, former Senior Vice President of fashion house Burberry, and international marketing and media expert, David Cardwell – who will both join the firm as non-executive directors.

Donal Durkan of Invest NI says: “High end clothing markets are extremely competitive, the textiles sector has faced many well documented difficulties over the past decade, and the global economy is experiencing challenging times - all of which make the continued success of Grosvenor Shirts even more commendable.  The company has steadily grown its market share, primarily in GB by focusing on design applications, high quality production and added value product range.

“The ethos of innovation which drives the company is clearly evident in its latest investment strategy. Having identified future trends, researched the potential of affluent international markets, and secured partnerships with industry experts including Stan Tucker, Grosvenor Shirts is now taking its high value product portfolio to new export markets. This forward thinking, entrepreneurial approach is what continues to set Grosvenor apart from the competition, and is what will drive its export performance in the future.”

Karl Dunkley, Managing Director of Grosvenor Shirts said: “We have spent 10 years positioning Grosvenor as a prestigious bespoke shirtmaker, and gradually moving from manufacturing established brands to designing and manufacturing under our own Grosvenor label. Our retail store in London has for the past 5 years supported this brand development and attracted new customers in new markets.

“This investment project will now enable Grosvenor to fully exploit these opportunities. We are investing heavily in a new website with a unique online ordering and design service, enhancing our design and production capability and further strengthening our brand. We also plan to complement these activities by offering retail franchise opportunities in markets including UAE and South Africa, based on the extremely successful model of our London store.

“Invest NI has been extremely supportive over the years and their commitment to this latest project has not only given us the confidence to move our plans forward, it has also helped us to secure private investment commitments. David Cardwell whose extensive media and marketing experience will keep our sales strategy on target, and Stan Tucker who as a former Senior Vice President of Burberry, will bring his expertise as part of a world renowned brand to Grosvenor Shirts.”

The investment will support the creation of 11 new production posts at Grosvenor’s Strabane site over the next two to three years.

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