NYC Insider with Charlotte Keesing | Walpole’s 2019 US Trade and Press Delegation
In our weekly focus on the USA – the most important market for British luxury – Walpole Director Charlotte Keesing discusses the incredible things brands joining our October delegation to New York City can look forward to – as well as the reasons why we’re doing them.
WHY IS THE US SUCH A KEY FOCUS MARKET FOR WALPOLE?
The transatlantic trading relationship – whether driven by luxury goods on sale in the United States or American tourists visiting the UK – has never been more important. In a recent study, 75% of Walpole member companies identified the US as their key growth market for the next five years and, as we identified in our most recent Economic Impact Study, the US accounts for 23% of our exports – a figure which is only set to grow in importance in the context of Brexit. But it’s not just about trade and investment, US visitors to the UK represent the top inbound tourism market by value, with nearly 3.9 million Americans visiting the UK in 2018 spending £3.4 billion.
WHY IS NYC IN PARTICULAR SUCH AN IMPORTANT MARKET FOR LUXURY?
New York itself represents over a third of the whole US luxury market and tends to be the main entry point for businesses starting their US journey.
WHAT CAN BRANDS EXPECT FROM THIS YEAR’S DELEGATION?
The three-day mission is carefully planned to provide key insights into the US market, media relationships and coverage, commercial opportunities and networking, and support inbound tourism to the UK. We have another packed programme for the Walpole members and a number of new events for 2019 including:
THE ART OF BRITISH LUXURY HOSPITALITY: This event will bring together leading hoteliers with influential travel advisors and media to promote the British luxury experience to US visitors.
The BRITISH CONSUL GENERAL will host a glamorous COCKTAIL RECEPTION at his official residence for delegation and the great and good of New York.
A PRIVATE TOUR of New York’s latest retail development, HUDSON YARDS.
We are again working with JP Morgan on an Insights Briefing to arm our delegation with all of the data, trends and developments on luxury in the US.
The rebranded BRITISH LUXURY SHOWROOMS AT THE GLASSHOUSES are an opportunity for brands to meet key US media and influencers
And finally, while I can’t share it yet, we are delighted to be honouring an incredibly influential individual with the WALPOLE AWARD for promoting UK-US Trade and Cultural Relationships, and look forward to revealing more in the coming weeks.
THIS IS THE THIRD YEAR WALPOLE HAS LED A DELEGATION TO NEW YORK, LOOKING BACK WHAT ARE YOUR HIGHLIGHTS FROM PREVIOUS TRIPS?
There are many! I feel immensely proud of the network we have created for Walpole members in New York: the media profile with coverage on Bloomberg, the BBC, Forbes and WWD among others; the relationships we have built with US influencers; and the trade wins – hearing about brands winning new accounts or securing new distribution as a result of the mission makes all of the months of preparation and work worthwhile.
Highlights include honouring Dame Glenda Bailey with a Walpole Award for supporting British luxury in the US last year – we organised a beautiful event at HEARST Tower. I work with the GREAT campaign on the mission and the week before the trip I had confirmation that our then Secretary of State for Trade & Investment Dr Liam Fox would be able to join the event which was a real mark of recognition.
Through our relationship with the US Embassy here in London, Ambassador Johnson hosted a cocktail reception for Walpole to launch the Mission at his private residence, Winfield House. It was such a special evening celebrating British and American business relationships.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE FUTURE FOR LUXURY BRANDS IN THE US?
The US continues to be an important opportunity for British luxury brands and the global appetite for British luxury shows no signs of abating. In the context of damaging political uncertainty, British luxury is a beacon for our values and soft power – our relentless focus on quality, creativity, innovation and service which are brands exemplify.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO VISIT WHEN IN NEW YORK?
London is absolutely my home but New York has my heart – I absolutely love our annual trip. This year I can’t wait to visit the new Hudson Yards development and the TAK Rooms designed by Walpole member, David Collins Studio. I also love to take a walk on the High Line – it runs just past the venue for our showrooms, The Glasshouses.