Shropshire's Newgate Clocks looking to expand overseas
A clock and watch maker has ambitious plans to expand overseas in the next 12 months after enjoying a busy 2018 so far.
Oswestry-based Newgate has also set out plans to grow its online presence.
It comes at a time when the business, which employs about 40 people, has seen growth in its clock business in the UK and US markets this year.
Jim and Chloe Read set up the company in Oswestry in the 1990s and has seen the company go from strength-to-strength.
Jim said: "We have been incredibly busy. We’ve seen growth of our clock business in the UK and US markets this year, both through wholesale and ecommerce. Plus, the growth of our watch division has led to some exciting new international distribution partnerships.
"We have also just launched our brand-new website – newgateworld.com – combining both the clock and watch collections, allowing greater flexibility to customers when shopping the Newgate range.
"Growing our online presence alongside the wholesale business is key for us over the next year. The internet is fast-changing, and businesses can’t hide from it anymore.
"We want to be at the forefront and make headway in a competitive area with our British brand and focus on quality and design. We also want to continue to expand in the US and overseas.
"Proving there are more players in the market than just the Swiss giants when it comes to creative and high quality time pieces."
Jim said among the challenges facing the business are Brexit and recruitment.
"Despite tough economic conditions for UK export businesses due to the weak pound and of course Brexit, Newgate has had a healthy and positive year," he said.
"Now Brexit has been decided I think that we just need to get on with it! I do hope good will come out of it. I think that this is our chance to get brand Britain back on top and put British products back on the map. Hopefully, Brexit will give the UK its identity back!
"As the business continues to grow, recruiting the right people to help push Newgate to the next level is our biggest challenge now. We need individuals who are forward thinking and quick to adapt to the changing business climate in a variety of roles, from sales through to design. The old ways of recruiting are gone.
"We see local events such as the flower show as a great opportunity for us to connect with the folk of Shrewsbury and potentially meet some future Newgate employees too."
The business exhibited at the Shrewsbury Flower Show at the weekend where it was asked to design and install a huge clock display from its vintage turret clocks collection in their main marquee.