Walpole British Luxury Showcase in New York 2017

Recognising the USA as the largest and most important luxury market in the world, Walpole swapped London for New York for our inaugural North American trade delegation, bringing the best of British luxury to the City that Never Sleeps.

Walpole created a two-day programme of events with the goal of building long-term relationships that drive export opportunities by engaging with top business leaders, buyers, media and influencers. Spanning the launch of a new insight report titled Britishness & Brand Identity, a series of business insight meetings, a private dinner at the British Consul General’s residence and a unique, immersive press and buyers showcase at Spring Studios, Walpole brings both the business and experience of British luxury to New York.

To see images from the dinner at the British Consulate General’s residence in NYC, please click here.

To see images from the Walpole British Luxury Showcase at Spring Studios NYC, please click here.

Michael Ward, Chairman of Walpole and MD Harrods, and Walpole CEO Helen Brocklebank lead the delegation in partnership with the GREAT Britain campaign and the UK’s Department for International Trade; organisations that promote UK trade and investment to a global marketplace. British luxury brands involved in the initiative include Bremont, Chapel Down, Cowdray, Edward Green, Ettinger, Halcyon Days, Johnstons of Elgin, Ormonde Jayne, Plymouth Gin, Rapport London, Rococo Chocolates, The Royal Mint, Thomas Pink and Wedgwood.

The US is a crucial market for the British luxury sector; whether driven by British luxury goods on sale in the United States or American tourists visiting the UK the opportunity in for growth in Anglo-American luxury trade has never been more visible or valuable.


75% of the UK luxury sector identified the US as a priority growth market for the next five years and despite slower growth, the American market is still the largest market for luxury worldwide valued at $85 billion (Walpole and McKinsey & Co: Key Growth Drivers of British Luxury, 2016)

A further $18.5 billion of growth in the US luxury market is forecast by 2021, representing 52% overall market expansion in just 10 years if reached (Euromonitor, 2016)

New York alone accounts for $25.5 billion or almost one third of the total US luxury market size (Bain 2014 )

The outlook for consumer spending is strong. Over the past three years, there has been a 9.7% annual increase in U.S earners with $150,000 or more in household income and millennials – a new and important market for luxury – are predicted to increase their spending by 12% in 2017, compared with just 1% for Generation X and a fall of 4% among baby boomers (S. Census Bureau: Current Population Survey, 2014-2016 Annual Social and Economic Supplement)


US visitors to the UK spent a total of £3.4 billion in 2016 (up 14% on 2014). They spent an average of £971 per visit, which is above the all market average of £599

The US is the UK’s top inbound tourism market by value; almost 5 million Americans visited the UK in 2016, an increase of 16% compared to 2014

US visitor spending in the first half of 2017 UK hit a record £1.8 billion (up 28% on the same period last year) with visitor numbers also showing strong growth up 31% to 9 million

The leisure market leads the reasons to visit – holidays account for 45% of all visits to the UK from the USA, 25% to see friends and/or relatives and 20% for business purposes.

Whether purchasing at home or experiencing it first-hand, British luxury goods appeal to a broad range of American customers. The rich heritage, highest standards of quality, superior craftsmanship, creativity and innovation and impeccable service are all part of the appeal of British luxury. Critically for today’s customers, the intelligent approach to design and a more contemporary, understated expression of British luxury, appeals to highly discerning customers who are seeking out brands with greater authenticity and values.

Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole said: “This trade trip represents an opportunity to support the international expansion of our brands and building critically important trade links in key export market. The US buys more luxury goods than any other nation and the objective of the trip is to encourage America to make more of those goods British.”

Ross Allen, Director, Department for International Trade, North America and British Deputy Consul General in New York added: “Our priority is to connect British brands with US customers. British brands are embracing their heritage while evolving with consumer demand for affordable luxury. Our partnership with Walpole is a fine example of how we promote the best that Britain has to offer, as the home of craftsmanship, imagination and innovation.”

Richard Yaffa, CEO of Spring Studios Global said: “As a center for creativity and business acceleration, Spring is excited to partner with and host Walpole for its inaugural event at Spring Studios.”


For further information about Walpole or the activities in New York please contact Charlotte Keesing at Walpole on Charlotte.keesing@thewalpole.co.uk or +44 7818 523 698.