Harris Tweed in New York

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Many moons have passed since our last post so after my recent trip to New York I thought it was about time I took to the blog again.

Last week we were out for a luxury trade mission with Textiles Scotland and Scottish Development International where we were showing our products to a range of buyers in New York. Other Scottish companies that were out with us included Johnstons of Elgin, Harris Tweed Textiles, Holland & Sherry, Eribe, Todd & Duncan, Buchanan Bespoke, Peter Scott and Halley Stevensons.

So we were out showing our Harris Tweed bags and accessories to a host of different retailers from New York and beyond. The show went well and we gained a lot of exposure to some big retailers. .

Throughout the week we were met by an array of different retailers/corporate institutions who were all very interested in seeing what Scottish textiles had to offer. The last day was probably our most successful, we met with 2 large retailers who we had made bespoke samples for before heading out to New York as well as Pernod Ricard who we made a range of bespoke Harris Tweed wallets and phone sleeves in 2012 when they were launching an Aberlour campaign in NY. Hopefully good news will follow and we will be able to tell you all the exciting news with our new customers.

The response we got was great, although it is apparent that any future development in this market will take a long time and many more trips out there…which i’m afraid will just have to be done. Any excuse to go to New York is a good one let alone if there are maccessori’s to sell!

It appears that the American’s love anything Scottish, however Harris Tweed has yet to catch on like it has done in the likes of Asia and in particular Japan. Although from my week out there it appears that all the market needs is a little prompting and a visit occasionally. We are very excited to explore this lucrative market and follow up with the great response we got.

With a couple of days to spare either side of the show I took the time to walk around the streets of New York and visit some of our potential customers. I had been advised that the underground was the best mode of transport but being more used to the SPT Subway I thought I would save any potential embarassment/altercation and stick to the streets.

One thing that was quite apparent was the price of clothes compared to the UK. Take your Levi’s 501s they were selling in bulk out of Macy’s for $40.00, which is around £23.00. These can cost you up to £80.00 in the UK and you don’t get the same variety as you do out there. Having discovered this bargain I then went on to the suit department where I found Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss suits selling at over 60% discounts for around $300.00-$400.00 (£150.00-£250.00). It really is a shoppers paradise and although I am not one to walk aimlessly around the shops i found myself doing just that, all it needs now is a bit of Harris Tweed!

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