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Scottish firms hike share in Japan luxury textile market
Jan '13
A new approach that aims to increase Scotland's share of the global luxury textiles market has helped company’s secure record sales of £1.3 million in Japan over the last year.

The new strategy, supported by Scottish Development International (SDI), focuses on working closely with key influencers and retailers in the Far East to help open up opportunities.

It's already proving successful, having helped deliver initiatives such as a Scottish Fair at the Hankyu Department Store in November which saw £540,000 of sales for the Scottish companies involved. Also, in December, six companies successfully showcased products on Japan's Jupiter shopping channel, which achieved combined sale of £742,000.

Ness to impress

Edinburgh-based Ness was overwhelmed by its success on the shopping channel. The company sold out most of its products resulting in £133,000 worth of sales.

Ness Managing Director, Gordon MacAulay said: “Although we are an established business in the UK, we are new to exporting and have only recently begun to tap into international opportunities. Working with SDI, we have become acutely aware of the significant growth opportunities available in the Far East and the potential strong fit for our products there. 

Through SDI we have been able to tap into contacts in the Japanese market who advised us which age group to target, based on price and style. In the UK our target age group is 32 but in Japan we were advised to target our products at 25 year olds – it’s little nuggets of information like this that really make the difference.”

SDI country head in Japan, Stephen Baker, said: “Ness is a great example of a company which is seeing real growth as a result of its exporting activities.

“We’ve been working closely with key influencers in Japan to understand more about how we can open up even more opportunities for Scottish companies and we’re already seeing success with Scottish textile companies such as Johnstons of Elgin, Mackintosh, Hawick Cashmere of Scotland and BEGG-Scotland - which have been trading in Japan for a number of years.

To succeed, Scottish textile companies have to play to their strengths – unique heritage, high quality diversity and design, refined craftsmanship and home to the finest fabrics in the world – these will help us meet our ambitious exporting target of 50 percent by 2017.“ 

Scottish Development International

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