Widdop goes international

Family giftware company opens office in China

 

Giftmaker to the greetings industry Widdop And Co has gone international with a brand-new office in China to expand the family-run company’s products to new markets.

Known for its licensing deals with publishers including Raspberry Blossom, Say It With Songs, Pigment, Meg Hawkins, and Hotchpotch, on Tuesday, 26 March, the Oldham-based company officially launched WCO International (HK) and open its brand-new Shenzhen office for business.

Above: Widdop launched its Say It With Songs partnership at Spring Fair and Raspberry Blossom collaboration at PG Live last June
Above: Widdop launched its Say It With Songs partnership at Spring Fair and Raspberry Blossom collaboration at PG Live last June

“I am so excited for the platform that this will become for the expansion of Widdop And Co into whole new markets globally,” commented Stephen Illingworth, co-owner and ceo, “I remember being taught in business studies about multinational companies and dreaming that some day maybe I would get the chance to lead one!

“With 350 factories in 12 countries, 94% audited to the world’s highest standards, 35 brands, six global licences with The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Hasbro and Mattel Inc, 10 product developers and designers, a stunning new showroom and meeting facility in the Paradise Building, two amazing managers with 30 years’ experience, we are now ready to serve a whole new group of customers here shipping fob to anywhere in the world!”

Above: Stephen (left) and Dan (centre) with board chairman Adam Attwood
Above: Stephen (left) and Dan (centre) with board chairman Adam Attwood

The move comes just seven months after Stephen and his brother Dan completed a management buy-out to acquire outright their family’s wholesale gift and home décor company, securing the future of Widdop And Co for a fifth generation, as it celebrated its 140th anniversary, and had also just launched its own manufacturing studio at its base for short-run gift items.

Stephen said anyone visiting the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China, next month – phase two over 23-27 April includes gifts, home decorations and festival products – can contact Widdop to develop exclusive ranges with low minimum order quantities.

Above: The China office is in the Paradise building
Above: The China office is in the Paradise building
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