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27 June, 2018 - 22:50 By Tony Quested

Region’s exports to US primed to rise in 2018

East of England companies exported goods worth £3.7 billion to the United States in 2017 and sales in the first quarter of this year indicate a potential transatlantic trade boom in 2018.

Alan Pain, head of exports for the East of England at the Department for International Trade, says the region’s exports to the US totalled almost £1 billion in the first quarter of 2018. That’s an increase of 5.5 per cent on the previous quarter, based on the latest figures from HMRC.

Pain said: “The US is the UK’s largest trading partner and has long had an appetite for British-stamped products with everything from fashion to food and drink and technology being successfully imported into the country. In 2017, the US imported more than £3.7 billion East of England goods, and this looks set to increase this year.”

Pain said exports from the manufacturing sector were the highest, totalling £4 million in the first quarter, highlighting an opportunity for local businesses. 

He said: “It’s important that businesses conduct market research to find out which area of the US is the most accessible and profitable for them and their product.

“This can be determined by several factors, one being location. If a business is looking to export to South America or Canada in the future, it is advisable to set up in states near to the Canadian or Mexican borders. Attending trade shows in different states is a good way to gauge local interest. For businesses that are looking to launch their products in the US, DIT has a team of international trade advisers located across the East of England.

“They are on hand to offer a range of expert guidance and support including international market research and exporting workshops. DIT can also arrange introductions with key buyers and distributors in the US to help kickstart the exporting process.”

Businesses looking for support should call 01707 398 398 or email eastinfo [at] mobile.trade.gov.uk. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.

Americans clamour for Undercover Glamour

The Department for International Trade (DIT) reveals that one of the East of England firms already seeing outstanding success in the United States is Bury St Edmunds fashion brand Undercover Glamour, which sells clip-in hair extensions, wigs, stick on bras and other beauty enhancing products online to customers worldwide.

The company entered the US market in 2015 and since then has sold its products across 43 states including California, New York and Texas. 
Company founder Catherine Peck tells Business Weekly that hair extensions are the company’s biggest seller in America.

A combination of highly rated, in-demand products and the favourable exchange rate between sterling and the dollar is clearly helping to drive the sales spree.

Undercover Glamour products have been modelled on TV shows such as Promzilla, a programme that helps girls create their perfect prom look with hair extensions, eyelashes, bras, shapewear and more. The company’s products are also proving popular with scores of brides wanting to achieve their perfect wedding look.  

Undercover Glamour works closely with many top celebrity makeup artists, such as Sian Duke, Holly Edwards and Alex Jones.

The company’s products are also used by top stylists, like Angie Smith, singers – including Britney Spears, Little Mix and Cheryl – and famous presenters, including Amanda Holden – as well as many top models.

Companies can also find information and a current list of opportunities through visiting great.gov.uk or contacting: DIT East of England by email – eastinfo [at] mobile.trade.gov.uk or by phone – 01707 398 398.

• PHOTOGRAPH: Undercover Glamour founder Catherine Peck with beauty blogger Lauryn Goodman. Photograph by Sarah Louise Johnson.

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