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Groom boom: Captain Fawcetts sees Australian demand double in 2019

PUBLISHED: 11:50 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:50 26 July 2019

Richard Finney, the man behind the Captain Fawcett brand at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Richard Finney, the man behind the Captain Fawcett brand at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

A King's Lynn manufacturer of male grooming products has doubled exports to Australia after attending a trade show in Melbourne, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The collection of shaving mugs at the Captain Fawcett Emporium at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe collection of shaving mugs at the Captain Fawcett Emporium at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Captain Fawcett, launched in 2010, makes men's hair and beard grooming products and fragrances which it sells directly to consumers and trade clients.

More than 80% of the company's sales are overseas, with its products available across 35 markets, such as Italy, Holland and Canada.

The business has boosted its sales to Australia - which has a cosmetics market worth $4.2billion, up 2.3% year on year according to market research company, IBISWorld - after taking part in the largest hairdressing event in the Southern Hemisphere, Hair Expo.

It attended the trade show in September 2018 with funding secured through the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Inside the Captain Fawcett Emporium at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYInside the Captain Fawcett Emporium at King's Lynn. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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After attending the event, the company's annual sales to Australia increased from £50,000 to £100,000 thanks to deals secured with distributors. Sales are projected to increase by 50-100% over the coming year.

International Trade Advisers (ITAs) at DIT also helped the business understand regulations governing the sale of cosmetics in Australia and helped to draw up distribution agreements with its new partners.

Richie Finney, founder of Captain Fawcett, said: "There's no better way to establish trading connections than by meeting potential distributors face-to-face.

"One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to this approach to doing business abroad is arranging the logistics of travelling and ensuring we meet with the right kind of people when we are there. With DIT support, we've been able to visit markets such as Australia to raise the profile of our brand, build relationships and increase our market share. If we can do all of this and succeed, so can others."

Thinley Topden, head of region for DIT East of England, said: "Accessing distribution networks in overseas markets can be a significant challenge for local businesses looking to export.

"Captain Fawcett's ambition and admirable entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with DIT helping to secure funding for it to attend the Hair Expo, has meant they've been able to face those challenges head on.

"We have a network of International trade advisers based on the ground in the East of England, and we encourage local firms to get in touch."

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