Pricecheck goes global
Case study: Trade
Company: Pricecheck Toiletries Limited
Sector: Business to business
UK region: Yorkshire
Target market: Global
UKTI services: Passport to Export, MSB Programme, Overseas Market Introduction Service, Market Visit Support, Events
Since Pricecheck joined the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) medium sized business (MSB) programme, its exports have increased by 25% year on year and now account for 36% of total sales. The company’s staff base has more than doubled over the past 6 years, to 75 employees. With continued support from UKTI it is now distributing branded fast moving consumer goods in over 50 countries. The company’s exporting success this year earned Pricecheck a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category. The company plans to double its turnover to £80 million and increase staff numbers to 150 in the coming 5 years.
Established in 1978, family business Pricecheck distributes excess stock of around 2000 leading branded consumer goods, mainly health and beauty products. The company sells them on to a variety of outlets in its global network, including discount retail groups, independent retailers, wholesalers, pharmacies and mail
“Without UKTI’s support, we wouldn’t have had the international success that helped us win the Queen’s Award. UKTI offers a flexible approach which we have incorporated into our own way of doing things.”
Debbie Harrison, Managing Director
Pricecheck Toiletries Limited
Identifying new overseas customers and partners and finding relevant contacts was a challenge. UKTI alerted the company to opportunities to exhibit at tradeshows, such as IAW in Cologne, the international fair for retail promotion and import goods. Pricecheck came away from the September 2014 show with 83 new contacts interested in talking further, 27 of these from Germany, which had been a difficult market to crack.
“UKTI and our ITA have inspired us to be more targeted, strategic and pro-active in pursuing overseas business,” says Debbie. “We have attended several useful UKTI events, including an Explore Export event in Leeds in November 2013 where our sales support team met UKTI advisers from around the world. This made us feel enthusiastic about the opportunities available and confident that support is available if we need help to get ourselves out there. Tradeshows have been really useful - with the right contacts, we can really trade anywhere.”
In 2013, Pricecheck had identified some leads in Spain but was concerned that cold calling them out of the blue would not be an effective approach. The company commissioned an Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) to warm up the leads, ahead of a market visit by its sales team. As a result of this approach, its business in Spain grew from nothing to £500,000 that year. It is projected to grow further to £800,000 this year and £1 million in the next 2 years. Similarly in Poland, OMIS and Market Visit Support from UKTI helped Pricecheck to grow its business by 39%
order companies. Its 3 top markets are currently the Netherlands, worth over £1.1 million, Poland worth over £665,000 and Sweden worth around £620,000. It has a turnover of £41 million and a staff of 75 based at its 100,000+ square foot warehouse and office in Sheffield.
“We create a win-win situation for businesses and consumers,” says Debbie Harrison, Managing Director of Pricecheck. “Manufacturers may find they have a surplus of stock for a number of reasons: perhaps they have changed the design on their packaging, or an overrun has left them with an excess. Our networks allow them to sell it discreetly, without having to compromise their own sales channels. On the other side, people love a bargain and there are always consumers happy to pay discounted prices for leading brand names.”
Pricecheck has been exporting for several years, initially responding to enquiries that came its way. In 2012, UKTI got in touch and offered its
to £665,500. Turkey is also a growing market. In 2014, it was worth £18,000 to the company - following another OMIS, it increased to £200,000. Encouraged by this, Pricecheck has attended a tradeshow in Turkey in April to meet with potential customers face to face.
The company plans to double its turnover to £80 million and increase staff numbers to 150 in the coming 5 years. Meanwhile, it is celebrating being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category, for continuous success over the past 6 years.
“Without UKTI’s support, we wouldn’t have had the international success that helped us win the Queen’s Award,” says Debbie. “We are on our way to exporting to every country in the world, and having this recognition will enhance our global reputation and help us to achieve our ambitious growth plans. When exporting, you need to take time to research your options, consider what you learn and decide how best to take it forward into action. UKTI offers a flexible approach which we have incorporated into our own way of doing things. We have found their support to be simply brilliant.”
Medium-sized Business Programme
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses of all sizes, providing advice, expertise and support to ensure their success within international markets. For medium-sized businesses (MSBs) looking to develop exporting operations, we offer a tailored package of support including help with developing an export strategy and action plans tailored to your business needs through our Medium-sized Business Programme.
To find out more, visit gov.uk/medium-sized-business
support to help the company take a more pro-active approach.
Having completed Passport to Export, the UKTI programme that helps businesses to prepare for international markets, Pricecheck became an MSB managed client. Through the MSB programme, the company worked closely with a UKTI International Trade Adviser (ITA) to develop a tailored export strategy, identifying opportunities to attend useful events and UKTI workshops on subjects such as managing agents and distributors.
“UKTI and our ITA have inspired us to be more targeted, strategic and pro-active in pursuing overseas business.”
Debbie Harrison, Managing Director
Pricecheck Toiletries Limited
Helping you to do business abroad
Doing business in another country can be a challenge, so it’s good to know that UK Trade & Investment is there to help you succeed.
Through a range of unique services, including participation at selected trade fairs, overseas missions and providing bespoke market intelligence, UK Trade & Investment can help you crack foreign markets and quickly get to grips with regulations and business practices overseas.
Through our Passport to Export programme we offer new and inexperienced exporters:
- free capability assessments
- support in visiting potential markets
- mentoring from a local export professional
- free action plans
- customised and subsidised training
- ongoing support once you’re up and running
UKTI was delighted to support Pricecheck Toiletries Limited in its business overseas.
To connect with an International Trade Adviser and begin your own success story now, visit gov.uk/ukti, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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UK Trade & Investment is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK’s dynamic economy. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.
Published May 2015 by UK Trade & Investment © Crown Copyright