Strabane shirt company collars African market

Pictured (L-R) are Stephen Wightman, Invest NI and Karl Dunkley, Managing Director of Grosvenor Shirts.'Picture by Parkway Photography
Pictured (L-R) are Stephen Wightman, Invest NI and Karl Dunkley, Managing Director of Grosvenor Shirts.'Picture by Parkway Photography

A Strabane-based shirt manufacturer is to enter the African market after franchising its business model in Ghana and Nigeria.

Grosvenor Shirts, which designs and manufactures quality men’s and boys’ shirts and offers its customers both a ready-to-wear range and made-to-measure service, has been assisted by InvestNI in securing the franchises.

The firm’s managing director Karl Dunkley says the new agreements are “a landmark achievement.”

“We identified the potential to grow the Grosvenor brand outside the UK by replicating the successful franchise model of our London store.

“Securing these franchise agreements in Ghana and Nigeria is a landmark achievement for the company which will help us to enhance our reputation within international markets as a prestigious bespoke shirt maker.”

The new outlets in Nigeria and Ghana are due to open in Spring 2012 and will be the first Grosvenor retail shops to be set up outside the UK. Mr Dunkley says the company hopes to expand further internationally.

“Invest NI’s support and encouragement to date has been invaluable and we hope that the experiences gained during the establishment of our African stores over the coming months will help us to leverage further franchising opportunities, particularly across the UAE and South Africa.”

Stephen Wightman, Invest NI’s Acting Director of Life Sciences and Creative Industry, says the franchise success is a significant breakthrough for the company, which over the past three years has focused heavily on targeting global business opportunities.

The Nigeria and Ghana franchises are expected to increase the company’s sales by £600,000 over the next three years, with all associated manufacturing taking place in Grosvenor’s Strabane factory, located at Derry Road where it also has a factory shop.