Walpole launches third annual Anglo-American trade mission to New York

Today a delegation of 18 British luxury brands led by Michael Ward, Chairman of Walpole and MD Harrods, Walpole’s CEO Helen Brocklebank and Director of Corporate Affairs and International, Charlotte Keesing travel to New York to build long-term relationships that drive export opportunities by engaging with top business leaders, buyers and media.

The four-day mission to New York spans a series of events designed to strengthen trade and investment ties between the UK and US by promoting business and media relationships.

This year’s trade mission will introduce a new hospitality-focused event unveiling a report titled, The Art of British Luxury Hospitality, published in partnership with Notable. Exploring the renewed appeal of the UK’s 5-star hotels and wealth of travel opportunities for modern American luxury travellers, the report examines topics from London’s rich arts and cultural scene, to the blending of homeliness and luxury hospitality, multi-generational vacationing, and the rise of elevated adventure experiences in order to achieve a new benchmark in luxury travel.

The delegation will also host a celebratory lunch at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to honour Leonard Lauder, Chairman Emeritus, Estée Lauder Companies. The event, which is being held in recognition of Mr. Lauder’s towering contribution to promoting the trading relationship between the UK and US, will include a presentation of an Award for Excellence designed for the occasion by luxury London jeweller, Garrard.

Other activities throughout the trip include an insights briefing on US media and the luxury landscape, a cocktail reception at the Lyaness pop-up at Spring Place hosted by Spring Studios and Quintessentially, afternoon tea with Dame Glenda Bailey OBE, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar to discuss the evolving media landscape, a reception hosted by Consul General, Antony Phillipson at his private residence in NYC, a tour of Hudson Yards and an experiential media showcase at The Glasshouses.

Finally, a specially commissioned research report created by Sunshine in partnership with Lucid, titled What Matters to Gen Z – Attracting the Next Generation of Luxury Consumer will be published.

The US opportunity
America is one of the largest and most important luxury markets in the world valued at $78 billion with 35% or $27.3 billion of that value attributable to New York (Source: Bain, September 2019). The US is the second largest export market for British luxury behind Europe with 23% of the UK’s exported high-end goods destined for North America (Source: Walpole and Frontier Economics: Economic Impact Study June 2019). At a time when the UK seeks to capitalise on its export capabilities, 75% of British luxury brands have identified the US as their priority export growth market (Source: Walpole and McKinsey & Co: Key Growth Drivers of British Luxury, 2016).

The transatlantic trading relationship for the British luxury sector is more valuable than ever before, with key revenue drivers including luxury goods on sale in the United States and American tourists visiting the UK. While some British luxury brands are focused on expanding their businesses in the US through exports, the UK’s top hotel and hospitality businesses have their sights on the growing numbers of US tourists visiting the UK. From January-September this year, US tourists coming to the UK were the fastest growing visitor group, up 33% on the same period last year (Source: Global Blue). According to data from Visit Britain, almost 3.9 million Americans visited the UK in 2018 spending a total £3.4 billion making the US the most valuable source market for visitor spending.

The trade delegation is taking place in partnership with the GREAT Britain campaign and the UK’s Department for International Trade which promotes UK trade and investment to a global marketplace.

Helen Brocklebank, CEO, Walpole commented: “British luxury exports over £9 billion of goods annually to the US and as the UK looks beyond its borders into its future global trading relationships, high-end British brands’ success at doing business overseas will be more important than ever. The US offers a huge growth opportunity for British luxury and the appetite of the US customer for our brands and services grows every year. I’m hugely excited about returning to New York to show the creativity and innovation that typifies luxury in the UK, and to fly the flag for Britain for US visitors thinking of making a trip here.”

Antony Phillipson, HM Trade Commissioner for North America and British Consul General in New York, said: “The US is the UK luxury industry’s second-largest export market, and Walpole’s annual trade mission to New York shines a spotlight on tremendous demand for British luxury goods here, renowned for their quality, heritage, and innovation. Three-quarters of UK luxury brands choose the US as their priority export destination, and New York alone comprises 35% of annual luxury goods sales in the US. I’m pleased to welcome Walpole back to the Big Apple for an opportunity-rich programme for some of the most dynamic names in British luxury.”

The British luxury brands that are participating in this year’s trade mission are: Belmond, Chapel Down, Cookson Adventure, Corinthia Hotel London, Cowdray, Harrods, Heathrow VIP, JJ Corry, Johnston’s of Elgin, Kathryn Sargent, Lock & Co, London Sock Company, Molton Brown, MOU London, Sabina Savage, Savoy, Rapport London and Richard Brendon.

The trade mission is made possible by the support of partners including The GREAT Campaign, Visit Britain, The Department for International Trade, British American Business, FoundPop, JP Morgan, Quintessentially, MM Luxe, Notable, Spring, Strategic Vision and Sunshine.

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