Trade & Investment Minister Lord Price visited housewares retailer Harts of Stur of Dorset last Friday (July 22), as part of a tour of south-west companies that are working in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).
Based in Sturminster Newton, Harts of Stur is one of the UK’s largest in-store and online retailers of cookware, kitchenware and small electricals.
The fourth-generation family-run business is the current winner of the ‘Britain’s Best Housewares Retail Website’ category of The Housewares Innovation Awards 2016, run by www.HousewaresLive.net and Housewares Magazine.
The company’s latest venture has been in the area of export, primarily to Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
Harts of Stur said it has benefited from ‘intensive support’ from UKTI in the areas of export sales planning and ‘highly effective’ ecommerce advice from UKTI digital advisers.
The retailer said: ‘The valuable input UKTI was able to supply has resulted in us achieving a 58% growth in export sales over a two-year period.’
Harts of Stur is currently working with UKTI South West to receive support under the ERDF-funded ‘Extend Your Global Reach’ programme, which will provide it with support into South American markets and online platforms.
The visit from Lord Price (formerly managing director of supermarket chain Waitrose), included a tour of the shop premises and warehouse distribution centre, followed by a boardroom discussion session. Lord Price was joined by UKTI South West International Trade Adviser Graham White and other regional UKTI staff.
l-r: Philip Hart (Harts of Stur managing director), Lord Price, Graham Hart (Harts of Stur director)