Men’s grooming products company strikes international deals worth millions

Export | Retail | South West

A Cheltenham-based men’s grooming products company has recently secured two new contracts in Asia, set to be worth £3.23m over the next five years.

In 2016 Hawkins & Brimble Founder, Stephen Shortt, noticed a lack of natural, quality men’s grooming and skincare products on supermarket shelves. With the help of a British Master Barber, he started experimenting and creating products in his bathroom, moving away from the typical mint and lemon scents to the more luxurious Elemi and Ginseng.

Just four years later, and men from all over the world now use Hawkins & Brimble products, reviving traditional barber rituals with its edgy yet sophisticated shaving, skincare, beard care and haircare range.

Both deals will see Hawkins & Brimble products sold online via international distributor, with the range set to be available in stores across India once the brand is more established in the market. The contracts are estimated to increase the company’s annual turnover by up to 60%. Hawkins & Brimble is working with social media influencers and bloggers in market to drive brand awareness and boost sales.

Hawkins & Brimble CEO Stephen Shortt said: “Exporting has definitely been the driving force behind the growth of Hawkins & Brimble. Our annual turnover has increased from £300,000 in our first year of business to £1.4m this year, with international sales accounting for 60-70% of this.

“From day one, I knew that we needed to sell our products internationally, and with this in mind, all of our packaging included four EU languages so that we could export to Benelux, Germany and France immediately. In fact, our first large retailer was actually in the Netherlands!

“DIT has been a very useful resource in every market that we’ve entered, and I would encourage other UK businesses considering selling overseas to get in touch and see how they can help.”

The company’s product range can now be found in 17 countries across the globe, including Sweden, Germany, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Australia. The business has also made significant progress in the US, securing a £1.2m deal in 2018, and a £1.3m export win in 2019. In the UK, Hawkins & Brimble is now listed with Superdrug, with 13 of its products now available in 800 stores across the country.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said: “Hawkins & Brimble is a great example of how exporting can make businesses more profitable and resilient, with the company growing so rapidly in such a short space of time.

“There is a strong demand for British products and services overseas and now is the perfect opportunity for other businesses across the South West to capitalise.

“We have a dedicated team of International Trade Advisers based in the South West and specialists in 109 countries worldwide to help UK companies navigate the exporting journey.”

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