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Ness Clothing looks to the far east for growth

17th April 2012

A Scottish clothing and accessories brand is to expand its global reach after agreeing a financial deal with Clydesdale Bank.

Ness Clothing Ltd – an Edinburgh-based business offering a unique range of Scottish clothing and accessories - is to begin exporting its products to the Far East in order to grow its turnover to £7.5 million over the next two years.

At present the business, which was established in 1997, exports its products to distributors in Germany, Holland, North America and Scandinavia with exports accounting for approximately 15% of its annual turnover. The firm also owns and operates a portfolio of nine Ness retail outlets throughout the country - in Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrews, Livingston, Inverness and York.

Clydesdale Bank provided the firm with a £600,000 financial package to support its international growth aspirations through its Investing for Growth Strategy – an initiative which helps successful firms to expand and develop. Investing for Growth offers both new and existing business customers a dedicated planning service and a more flexible approach to lending.

Owner and director of Ness Clothing Ltd, Gordon MacAulay, operates the business in partnership with his wife, Adrienne. He commented:

“There has always been a great demand for our specialist products from tourists visiting our stores from countries like China, Japan and Korea. For that reason, in addition to the fact that Asia is showing extremely encouraging signs of economic growth, we are eager to begin exporting our products there – we believe it has huge potential for our business.

“Over the next two years, we are hoping to grow the export side of our business significantly by targeting these new markets. As with the other countries we export to, we will trade with the Far East through distributors and agents, exhibiting at trade shows and capitalising on the support on offer from organisations like Scottish Development International.

“Clydesdale Bank has played a key role in helping us in the process so far – the team in Edinburgh has been incredibly professional and straightforward to deal with. As we look to expand our global business operations, we are looking forward to developing our working relationship with the Bank.”

Last year, Ness Clothing Ltd, which employs 37 members of staff, reported an annual turnover of £4.5 million.

Derek Smith, Business Development Partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Edinburgh Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) said: “Ness Clothing Ltd has gone from strength to strength since it opened its first store in Edinburgh back in 1997. It now boasts a hugely successful wholesale division, in addition to a vibrant set of retail outlets and thriving e-commerce business.

“Clydesdale Bank is committed to supporting small to medium sized companies like Ness as they develop, and we are really pleased to be able to work with Gordon and the team as they extend their geographical reach to the Far East.”

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