Sales staff from What More UK are boarding flights bound for the US this week, as the housewares supplier makes its American trade show debut.
The Lancashire-based plastic housewares and bakeware manufacturer will be among more than 2,100 exhibitors showcasing their products when the International Home + Housewares Show opens its doors at the McCormick Place Exposition Center in Chicago on Saturday (March 5).
Billed as the world’s biggest housewares-only trade show, the exhibition is expected to attract around 65,000 international buyers over its four-day duration. What More UK, which produces more than 750 product lines mostly under its ‘Wham’ brand, will have a 200sq m stand at the show.
Planning for the event has been a huge logistical exercise for the team at What More UK’s head office. A 20ft sea container packed with Wham brand stock set sail from Southampton a month ago, and has now docked at the Port of Chicago. The stand itself is being built by a specialist American team, working to plans supplied by What More’s UK design team.
When the sales crew land in Chicago, they will spend two days filling the stand with the stock, ready for the show’s opening day. Then it will be four days of meeting and greeting buyers from around the world, with the 10-strong sales team working in rotation.
What More director Tony Grimshaw said: “It’s been a long time in the planning and a lot of effort by the team, but the big day is almost here.
“We already export to 64 countries worldwide, including the USA, but it’s a huge market out there and this is the next big step in growing our international business.
“The Americans are excited to have us there too and I know we’ll get a good reception for our products, especially our Wham Cook and PushPan bakeware, which is doing really well. It’s reassuring to realise at these events that the ‘Made in Britain’ stamp still carries a lot of clout with international buyers, not to mention our Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
“Yes, we’re there to promote our business, but it’s a good feeling to be flying the flag for British manufacturing at the same time.”
What More UK director Tony Grimshaw