A Staffordshire manufacturing firm is blazing a trail for business in Dubai – by exporting fireplaces.
While the Gulf might seem an unlikely market, Olde England Reproduction (OER) Fireplaces, of Normacot Road, Stoke on Trent has succeeded with help from UK Trade & Investment, the government body which supports British firms seeking to develop exports.
The company visited Dubai in the First Exclusive British Showcase at the British Embassy in 2006. This event was funded by Advantage West Midlands’ interior and lifestyle cluster and organised by UK Trade & Investment.
OER returned over two years and formed a partnership with an agent, who has a chain of furniture outlets in Dubai shopping malls. He ordered fireplace suites for his showroom in the Mall of the Emirates, where OER’s fireplaces take pride of place, and is considering further orders.
Company director Lynn Brereton said: “We have sold products worth £9,000 in Dubai through our partner, and expect sales to reach at least £50,000 per year. We are very grateful to UK Trade & Investment for giving us the opportunity to visit and research Dubai cost-effectively. Our first trip gave us the confidence to persevere in this unexpectedly successful market.
“We now find that most of the people we meet remember us from previous visits and we are continuing to develop strong relationships, which we expect to lead to further business.”