Kevco Wholesale is expanding internationally following the Carlisle-based firm’s appointment as exclusive Seven ‘til Midnight distributor for five European countries – and it has set itself the ambitious target of doubling its turnover within the next 12 months. Kevco has represented the US lingerie label in the UK and Ireland for several years, and it was voted Best Lingerie Brand by ETO readers in 2012 and 2013.
“We always saw Europe as a natural progression but did not know if we would ever get the opportunity as all of our contracts were exclusively for the UK and Ireland,” said Kevco’s Kevin Wooldridge [pictured right, with co-director Dave Rennison]. “Initially we have been given France, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and Austria exclusively. This is a huge remit and will keep up very busy – this is a very exciting time for us.”
When asked why Seven ‘til Midnight chose Kevco rather than an existing distributor on the European mainland, Wooldridge replied: “We feel we have done a fantastic job in establishing Seven ’til Midnight as a top brand in the UK and they would like us to do the same around Europe. Seven ’til Midnight has been very satisfied with our customer service and sales and distribution of the brand in the UK. They are 100% supportive of our expansion.”
Vinh Luong, vice president of Seven ’til Midnight, echoed Wooldridge’s comments: “Kevco Wholesale has done an amazing job with distributing Seven ’til Midnight products in the UK,” he said. “With the expanded partnership, we are extremely thrilled that Seven ’til Midnight products will be widely available to customers all over Europe. We want to congratulate Kevco Wholesale’s team for their continued growth and success.”
Kevco is building an extension to its head office, giving it additional warehouse and office space, and recruiting extra staff across all departments in preparation for the expansion – with applications from multilingual speakers being particularly welcome. “We will also be looking to take on staff in our exclusive countries so they can give customers the same level of personal service we give to our UK customers,” said Wooldridge. “We are also reviewing our working hours at our head office and we will be extending these to cover time differences and demand. We have already modified our wholesale website to show multi-currencies, and customers can pay in euros.”
Kevco states that its UK business is currently increasing at the rate of 20% per annum and, following the move into Europe, the firm intends to double its 2014 sales in 2015. Wooldridge believes that existing UK customers will also benefit from the firm’s growth: “We see selling to a wider customer base as a win/win for everybody. We will have more regular big shipments and we will hold more lines in stock, matching the demand from our customers. Different goods sell better in different areas but our selection for everybody to choose from will be wider.”
When asked if there were any fears that the expansion could become a distraction to the detriment of existing UK business, Wooldridge replied: “Not at all. We will have delegated people for areas so we will not take our eye of the ball. Dave [Rennison, Kevco co-founder] and I will be constantly reviewing the bigger picture. And check out next month’s ETO for our next announcement. 2015 will be a very good year for Kevco and our brands.”
If you are interested in working for Kevco in the UK or Europe email your CV, along with a covering letter explaining why you would be a good addition to the team, to email@example.com