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International trade from the Netherlands for Kent packaging business

A Kent packaging supplier has secured £50,000 worth of orders from new customers in the Netherlands after the Department for International Trade (DIT) helped identify the country as a high-potential overseas market.

Priory Direct, headquartered in Aylesford, supplies labels, packaging and warehouse supplies to e-commerce businesses. Its customer base includes small start-up businesses, as well as large retail brands such as River Island and Hotel Chocolat.

After receiving enquiries from potential new customers in countries from Belgium through to Sweden, the business worked with DIT to develop an export strategy to take advantage of the opportunities.

DIT recommended that the business use the Market Selection Advisory Service to conduct bespoke market research, which allowed the company to identify the highest potential target export markets. Having identified the Netherlands, DIT supported Priority Direct to capitalise on the opportunity, including upgrading its logistics to offer the same single-day dispatch it offers to UK-based customers.

DIT also provided a market visit support grant which enabled Priory Direct to visit the Netherlands earlier this year. During the visit, the company held face-to-face meetings with potential customers.

Priory Direct has now secured £50,000 worth of orders from Dutch customers including Parfumswinkel and Card Vision BV. The company is experiencing 30% year-on-year annual turnover growth and has forecast £7.2million annual turnover in 2019, up from £5.5million in 2018.

Josh Pitman, managing director at Priory Direct, said, “The calibre of advice DIT can offer has been a game-changer for our business in terms of exporting. Our International Trade Adviser has extensive experience and we trust his advice wholeheartedly.

“In this digital age, it’s becoming easier than ever to access customers right across the globe, and it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. Working with DIT has helped us to find the markets that were right for us and run an effective exporting operation. DIT encouraged us to make our site more user-friendly for international customers and we’ve now made it possible for our customers to pay in foreign currencies, translate our website to their language, and benefit from expanded delivery options.

“The expertise, advice and guidance from DIT have made us feel that anything is possible. If we can succeed overseas, so can other businesses.”

Ben Raby, Head of the South East at DIT, said, “Priory Direct is an ambitious business that has experienced impressive growth over the last few years. Our team contacted the business after it was named one of the fastest-growing businesses in Kent and we could see that it had the potential to successfully export. With enquiries coming in from continental Europe, the business needed a clear plan in place to meet this demand.

“We’d encourage any business considering exporting to get in touch. We have International Trade Advisers on hand throughout the South East region to guide businesses at every stage of their export journey. DIT also has staff on the ground in over 100 countries to eliminate trade barriers linked to legislation, tax, labelling requirements, and other factors.”

Kate Shaw
Article by Kate Shaw
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