Reedy Supplies looks to export down under

Reedy Supplies, a family-owned agricultural and horticultural tool retailer, is growing international sales by targeting New Zealand and Australia.

The Newton Abbot-based firm, founded in 1972 by Eileen and Don Winter, has been successfully exporting its handmade garden tools to Germany, France, Canada and the United States for two years. The company’s overseas trade accounted for 20% of its sales in 2017. 

From 2018, the business is looking to grow its overseas trade to 40% of its sales by exporting to Australia and New Zealand. Following an introduction by the Department for International Trade (DIT), the company is in discussions for its first orders from a distributor in Australia and a large garden retailer in New Zealand.

The company decided to start exporting when it received overseas sales enquiries after its products were featured in the 2013 Queen’s Coronation Festival. With help and support from a DIT adviser, the company secured its first international order from Canada in 2015.

The business has now launched a successful online store for its international customers that will help the firm reach its ambitious exporting targets. The website will soon be translated into at least two languages as the business looks to increase its international trade. 

Adam Greenman, Marketing Director at Reedy Supplies, said:

“Because of the kind of products we sell, our sales are naturally affected by the seasons. One of our main aims in starting to export was to iron out this fluctuating demand. When it’s cold here, it’s summer somewhere else, which is why we decided to target the southern hemisphere in our bid for growth. 

“We launched our first online store just last month and we’ve already received our first international contract through that. We’ll be using it as an online catalogue at first, so that customers and buyers abroad can look at our range, but with DIT’s help we are also looking into having it translated into other languages to grow our online sales. 

“One of the main challenges we’ve faced is finding accurate information about the business cultures in New Zealand and Australia. We’ve also found that there is no substitute for meeting buyers and distributors face-to-face if you want to build relationships. By exporting, we’ve grown as a business and learned a lot about ourselves in the process. If we can do it, so can many other local businesses.”

Paul Shand, Regional Director for DIT in the South West, said:

“Reedy Supplies is an excellent example of a local business taking the exporting plunge and, in return, being rewarded with significant growth. 

“In 2017, businesses from the South West alone exported over £20.7bn worth of goods to countries all over the world. This shows the scale of opportunity out there for those considering making a move into overseas markets and, if they decide to take the step, we have International Trade Advisers based across the region to support them in navigating new territories.”

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  • How to get started

    To gain access to an experienced International Trade Adviser, who will act as your export guide and give you the confidence to explore or expand in overseas markets, simply contact our International Trade Centre today.

    Call us on 01275 370 944