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Darren Winters is a self made investment multi-millionaire and successful entrepreneur. Amongst
his many businesses he owns the number 1 investment training company in the UK and Europe.
This company provides training courses in stock market, forex and property investing and since
the year 2000 has successfully trained over 250,000 people.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Festive Cheer for the UK Economy

The festive spirit over Christmas, of buying, giving and perhaps even indulging in a bit of bling, is alive and well and is also helping to jingle the UK economy along, according to a recent press release from the UK trade and Investment published December 23, 2014.

Sales of British fresh Christmas trees abroad have soared and are up by over 100 percent. British toy manufacturers are also being given a festive cheer with robust demand for British toys, booming by over £25 million during the same period.

Christmas trees grown in the UK are nearly always sold exclusively to the UK domestic market, but growers are increasingly bucking the trend. Along with their European rivals, UK Christmas tree growers have been proactively seeking export markets overseas. Their efforts are paying off and last year they saw an increase in sales overseas of 111% for October to December 2013 compared to the previous year.

“Meanwhile children across the world continue to write to Father Christmas asking for British toys, with UK toy manufacturers reporting a 25% increase in exports for October to December 2013,” claims the report. This represents an increase of over 25 million pounds sterling compared to the same period in 2012 and, with a 17 percent increase in unit toy sales for 2014 so far, is set to grow further still this year.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is a government department which helps UK companies to boost their exports and succeed in the global economy. Between the years 2013 and 2014 assisted businesses generated £49.1 billion to the UK economy in additional overseas sales, which helped to create and safeguard 220,440 jobs.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said in the report; “From toys to trees to all the Christmas trimmings, the UK has proved time and again that we produce the items of choice for people celebrating the festive season across the globe.”

“It’s particularly good to see British firms branching out into new markets, selling Christmas trees in Russia, chestnuts to Spain and toys to Angola,” he added.

According to retail sales data from market researchers The NPD Group, revenue from sales of toys since January has increased by 6 percent compared to the same time period last year, which represents the best sales result since 2010.

WOW Toys, A UK company, has seen a 26 percent rise in their exporting activity since January this year which is helping to fuel a boom in the UK industry. WOW, who specialise in innovative and high quality toys for toddlers, now export to diverse places including Japan, Angola, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and are expanding further still with the help of UKTI.

While the UKTI deserves praise for booming exports from British toy manufacturers, there may be another factor at play which is causing an increase in global demand for British made toys. What we might be seeing is an industry that eventually wins out in the long run from higher standards of quality control and safety compared to its cheaper rivals.

For example, in 2007 lead paint prompted Mattel to recall 967,000 toys which were manufactured in China. Lead paint, known to be extremely toxic, can damage brain cells, especially those of children. “One third of Chinese toys contain heavy metals,” according to a Telegraph article dated December 8, 2007. A ghoulish fake eyeball toy made in China was recalled after it was found to be filled with kerosene. Sets of toy drums and a toy bear were also recalled because of lead paint, and an infant wrist rattle was recalled because of a choking hazard.

In recent years, these critical news stories concerning cheaper Chinese manufactured toys have been good news for British toy makers, who go the extra mile to comply with higher safety standards.

Nadim Ednan-Laperouse, company founder of WOW Toys said, “over 48% of our business is exporting overseas and this year has been a really good year. Our products are niche, unique and high quality, which I think creates a particular selling-point for us to sell in more unusual as well as well-established countries.”

Jadecliff Ltd, based in Newbury, is a Christmas tree company that is benefiting from the increased demand for British Christmas trees abroad. The company, which this year provided the tree for outside No. 11 Downing Street, is exporting overseas for the first time – with Holland as their first target market.

Sadie Lynes, Managing Director of the company said, “We have grown the business a lot in the UK, so exporting really was the logical next step for us in order to further expand the business. We visited Holland last year to make preparations and I have over 25 years’ experience in the business which has really helped.

I would definitely recommend exporting to companies looking to expand as we are starting to see the benefits already and are planning to try new markets in Europe next year.”

Even British chestnut suppliers are cashing in on the festive spirit. Exports for chestnuts jumped by a massive 352 percent for the festive season in 2014 compared to the same period in 2012. This was mainly due to soaring demand in Spain, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Furthermore, as temperatures dropped during the winter months, there was a rise in demand for UK made coats by 43%, particularly in Germany.

Looking at the list of the top five selling exporters during the Christmas season, it becomes obvious that people outside the UK like British booze. Top of the list by a mile was whisky at £1.2 billion, beer £161 million, chocolate £160 million then £128 million for toys and £124 million for cheese.


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