This week people will be shopping for Valentine’s presents. So it’s a good time to highlight the many local consumer products businesses that are producing excellent products and finding local and export success.
Pictured are Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster pictured with Karl Dunkley from Grosvenor Shirts celebrating the firm's licence agreement with FIFA
Here are just a few examples from over 100 businesses that our dedicated Consumer Products Team is helping to grow.
Clothes are a popular Valentine’s gift and, for men, a handcrafted shirt could be the perfect gift. Among Northern Ireland’s most successful shirt manufacturers are Smyth & Gibson and Grosvenor Shirts, both of which count some very high profile people among their customers. These companies have achieved extensive export success, with help from Invest NI.
For Grosvenor Shirts the success included opening up two franchises in Nigeria and Ghana in 2012. Our marketing support helped Smyth & Gibson extend its international reach to North America, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.
Pictured L-R are Kieran Kennedy, O'Neill's and Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI
Outdoor and sportswear are also popular gifts and companies such as Target Dry and O’Neill’s are finding success around the world for their products designed with our research and development support.
As a result of diversifying into multiple sports and accessories, including developing innovative products such as a lightweight hurling helmet, O’Neill’s was in a position last year to make a major investment that created 60 new jobs.
Many people will turn to the internet to buy their Valentine’s presents and selling online is key to export success for many consumer products businesses.
A popular place to shop for jewellery is Argento. It has found global success through developing its own brands and ranges, supported by us through a research and development grant. It’s now the fastest growing online jewellery department store in the UK and Ireland.
To find out how we can help companies working in the consumer products sector to get support such as technical advice, research and development, employment growth, export marketing, e-commerce and sustainable development, please call 0800 181 4422.
Invest NI’s R&D support is part funded by European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.