Co. Antrim textiles firm bolsters export offering with Invest NI support

Jan 19, 2012

Picture by Parkway Photography

Pictured (L-R) at the family-owned firm’s Mallusk premises are Peter Nicholson, Managing Director of Atkinsons and Stephen Wightman, Invest NI’s Acting Director of Life Sciences and Creative Industries.

Newtownabbey textiles firm, Richard Atkinson Ltd (Atkinsons), is investing over £48,000 with support from Invest Northern Ireland, to expand its product range and target new markets.

The family-owned tie manufacturer, based in Mallusk, sells its products to corporate customers and independent retailers across mainland Europe, the USA and Japan as well as to Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

To support the future growth of the business Atkinsons has diversified its product offering by developing a new range of men’s accessories including cummerbunds, cravats, bow ties, handkerchiefs and scarves.

Invest NI has offered Atkinsons over £19,000 to help the company bring this new product range to market.

To help drive sales and attract new customers, the company is undertaking several market development visits over the coming months to China, USA, Japan, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.

Stephen Wightman, Invest NI’s Acting Director of Life Sciences and Creative Industries, said: “Atkinsons is a long established family-owned company which has undergone significant change to adapt to challenging trading conditions in the textiles sector. Its investment activities relating to brand development and product range expansion demonstrate the company’s keen export focus and strong drive to build on its international success.”

Peter Nicholson, Managing Director of Atkinsons, said: “In order to maintain a competitive position outside Northern Ireland, we recognised the need to continuously expand our product portfolio and increase awareness of the Atkinsons brand. Our accessories range will enable us to target new international markets and extend our potential customer base. Supported by Invest NI, we plan to participate in a US trade show and advertise these products widely across Europe and Asia over the coming months.”

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