NEWTOWNARDS, NORTHERN IRELAND, 16th August 2018 Crescent’s Shnuggle, the multi award winning clever baby products company, has announced its biggest export contract to date with the world’s leading Asia Pacific distributor, Bloom & Grow.
This latest partnership will see the launch of the Shnuggle brand in Australia as well as supporting further growth of Shnuggle’s Asian market share, reaching a potential population of just under two billion people.
Bloom & Grow kick started the deal by officially launching Shnuggle in Shanghai at the CBME fair in China last month, adding to their ever-increasing global reach.
Bloom & Grow is a significant addition to the ever-growing list of Shnuggle’s export territories and the brand will join other major players in the portfolio such as Skip Hop, Ergobaby, Trunki and Nuby.
Shnuggle currently export to over 35 countries, adding 18 of those this year alone following major launches in America, Canada, South Africa and Japan.
Following launch, South Africa saw two months of stock sell out in three days through distributor Step South and in the USA and Canada, ALCA distribution have already secured listings in Buy Buy Baby, Best Buys and Target.
In South Korea, the Shnuggle Bath is the market leading premium baby bath and continues to grow with the recent launch of new colourways designed exclusively for this market.
Success for the Shnuggle brand is not just through the company’s export division.
The UK business has seen significant growth this year following increased distribution with Mothercare, Mamas and Papas, Argos and exclusive lines at John Lewis.
Sinead Murphy, Co-Founder of Shnuggle commented ‘We are thrilled to announce the partnership with Bloom & Grow. This is a major turning point for the business and to be welcomed by such a large distributor and to sit alongside the number of credible brands in their portfolio is really exciting for us. We have invested heavily into growing the export business while continuing to support and expand our UK retailers and we are very much looking forward to watching the Shnuggle brand grow in these new territories.’
Alexandra Dickson Leach, Founder and CEO of Bloom & Grow said ‘Bloom & Grow are thrilled to be bringing the Shnuggle bath range to all of our territories. The products are innovative, and I have no doubt they will be welcomed by parents across Asia and Australia.’
LONDON, 8th May 2018 – Northern Ireland’s best businesses and two outstanding individuals have been honoured at the 2018 Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards in the palatial surroundings of the IoD headquarters on Pall Mall in London.
Crescent’s Bob McGowan-Smyth was one of the 11 strong panel of judges.
The awards were presented across nine categories to businesses that have excelled in areas such as fast growth, export, innovation, and marketing.
“The Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards are now one of the most prestigious events on the business calendar and we are delighted to recognise and support those organisations that represent the best in their sectors,” said Andrea Hunter, Business Development Manager of Aer Lingus in Northern Ireland.
“This was a true celebration of business excellence and on behalf of Aer Lingus I would like to congratulate each of the winners for their remarkable accomplishments.”
This year’s winners are as follows:
Best Business Start-Up Award: AG Electrical NI Ltd
Best SME Award: STATSports Group Ltd
Fast Growth Business Award: FinTrU Ltd
Excellence in Marketing Award: Babocush
Exporter of the Year Award: Brookvent
Innovation of the Year Award: See.Sense
Business Person of the Year: Cathal Grant, CGDM Construction Ltd
The ceremony also recognised Trevor Annon, Founder and Chairman of Mount Charles, with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to business life in Northern Ireland.
With Trevor’s guidance, Mount Charles has created true economic benefit not only for its employees and their families, but also for the wider NI economy.
Mount Charles currently sources approximately 90% of their food from NI suppliers attributing to a contribution of £9m per annum to the NI economy, while labour costs currently generate £17m per annum.
In October 2016 Trevor opened a brand new state-of-the-art headquarters in Belfast, having invested £1.6m in the building’s purchase and refurbishment, making a significant statement regarding the company’s commitment to future growth and development.
Business Person of the Year Cathal Grant, Managing Director of CGDM Construction Ltd, was delighted to win this award, and was overwhelmed to be honoured amongst the best of NI businesses.
Cathal explained that CGDM has grown rapidly, “by securing high value contracts in the commercial, retail, banking, health, leisure and hospitality sectors throughout the UK and Ireland.”
Cathal oversaw the diversification of his company from an architectural design business to a design and build business, combining architectural and construction services.
“To facilitate business expansion and grow market share in Ireland and Great Britain, we have since established offices in Dublin in 2015 and most recently in London in 2017,” he said.
The company employs 21 staff and 60 sub contractors and plans are underway to build larger offices in Newry to enable further expansion.
Keith Graham, Managing Director of Selective Travel Management, winners of the Overall Excellence Award said: “We have seen massive growth for the company this year and we are very proud that our efforts have been recognised with the Overall Excellence Award.”
Located in the historic Murray’s Exchange in Belfast City Centre, the company employs 114 travel professionals, providing expert support with fully bespoke technological solutions to a customer base spread across the United Kingdom. The last four years has seen their turnover grow by 68% from £29.4m to £49.5m.
Keith explained that “first class, 24/7, customer service, latest technology and an exclusive and proactive ‘Duty of Care’ programme have combined to reinforce our business edge and continues to fuel our current success and future growth.”
We had the fantastic privilege of meeting two MEGA VIPs today.
Prince Harry and Fiancée Meghan Markle visited Belfast as part of their pre-wedding tour and part of the day saw them meet local entrepreneurs and innovators at the campus of Northern Ireland’s next-generation science park.
On meeting us, Meghan pointed to the Shnuggle products and joked ‘I’m sure at some point, we’ll need the whole thing’, with Prince Harry enquiring about the cost of the ever-popular Shnuggle Bath and saying he would “take the lot”!
They were amazed by the growth of the brand from our garage in NI to 20 countries and growing and referring to Shnuggle’s success, Meghan exclaimed “I bet you never expected this when you started”!
We were thrilled to be invited to be part of the innovator meet and greet. Harry and Meghan were extremely warm and friendly and really took their time to talk to everyone.
We feel very honoured and we hope that they remember us should they decide to start their own family…
BELFAST, 26 March 2018: Tension is mounting with the announcement of the 10th annual Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards shortlist, following deliberation by an 11-strong panel of judges that included Crescent’s Bob McGowan-Smyth.
The awards celebrate and reward those companies that have contributed to the local economy and also made significant progress in global export markets.
Among the nine contested categories, Fortress Diagnostics, Environmental Street Furniture and Brookvent vie for the title of Exporter of the Year, while Cyphra, FinTrU Ltd and UForm battle for the Fast Growth Business Award.
Shortlisted companies will be flown to a prestigious awards ceremony in London from George Best Belfast City Airport with Aer Lingus.
The esteemed judging panel included Andrea Hunter, Business Development Manager at Aer Lingus; John Mulgrew, Editor, Ulster Business; Gary McDonald, Business Editor, Irish News; Margaret Canning, Business Editor, Belfast Telegraph; Richard Sherriff, Business Editor, News Letter; Wendy Austin, Presenter, BBC Inside Business; Bob McGowan-Smyth, Investment Director, Crescent Capital; Kieran McGarrigle, Partner, Head of Finance, Arthur Cox; Kirsty McManus, National Director, Institute of Directors NI, Jeremy Fitch, Executive Director, Business and Sector Development Group, Invest NI and Roseann Kelly, Chief Executive, Women In Business.
Andrea Hunter, Business Development Manager at Aer Lingus said: “The Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation is proud to support and celebrate outstanding businesses across Northern Ireland. Every year the calibre of entrants seems yet more impressive than the one before. It wasn’t easy to arrive at our list of finalists, but each one of them deserves their place on the shortlist.
“The companies and individuals we’re rewarding have demonstrated a true commitment to innovation and have achieved remarkable growth both here in Northern Ireland and across the globe.
“They are playing a pivotal role in the economic growth of Northern Ireland and their achievements, their entrepreneurship and business acumen act as a benchmark to the rest of the business community here.”
The Aer Lingus TakeOff Foundation Business Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday 8th May 2018 at the IoD Headquarters on Pall Mall, London.
TakeOff Foundation Business Awards Shortlist:
Best Business Start-Up Award: Groundswell Growth Ltd, Titanic FX and AG Electrical NI Ltd
Best SME Award: STATSports Group Limited, CGDM Construction and TS Foods
Fast Growth Business Award: UForm, Cyphra and FinTrU Ltd
Excellence in Marketing Award: Henderson Wholesale Ltd, Danske Bank and Babocush
Exporter of the Year Award: Fortress Diagnostics, Brookvent and Environmental Street Furniture
Innovation of the Year Award: See.Sense, Rolltack and OKTO Technologies
Business Person of the Year Award: Keith Graham, Selective Travel Management, Cathal Grant, CGDM Construction Ltd and Gareth Loye, Mascott Construction