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Christmas boost for Midlands businesses

Monday December 23rd, 2019

With the season of giving now upon us, recent data has revealed growing international demand for British stationery and greeting cards.Pound Coins

Exports of greeting cards from the UK rose by 1.5% last year to a total value of nearly £63 million. Key destinations include the US, where sales grew by 87.8% (£3.9 million) between 2015 and 2018, while exports to Australia doubled in the same period.
One Midlands firm tapping into this global demand is Stamford based Old English Company, who were aptly named Small Business of the Year at the 2019 Mercury Business Awards. The stationery and giftware company was initially established in 2012, and has since become a successful global e-commerce brand.
For Old English Company, exports to the US alone have increased by nearly 100% since 2016. The company has also recently signed a three-year contract with American card giant Papyrus, which will see them design an array of greeting cards for the retailer. As the largest consumer market on the globe, the US presents huge opportunities for Midlands businesses. In 2018, goods exports from the West Midlands to the US alone totalled £6.6 million.
With over 200 stores across Australia, Germany, Sweden, France, China and the UAE, Old English Company also has an impressive presence here in the UK, being stocked in over 1,000 stores nationwide.
Also benefitting from the growing demand for stationery and greeting cards is Loughborough based Ohh Deer. The stationery company works with more than 100 new and upcoming illustrators to create quirky, arty and funny illustrated products.
Ohh Deer exports to 51 countries, with overseas sales accounting for 37% of the company’s annual turnover.
To make the most of the global demand for its products, Ohh Deer turned to DIT for advice on navigating customs regulations and paperwork requirements in countries it was exporting to for the first time.
DIT has supported Ohh Deer from the beginning, providing one-to-one advice from local trade advisors, specialist international embassy consultations, as well as specific trade show grants at international trade shows, which have enabled Ohh Deer to expand their reach.

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