Jul 12, 2018
Textiles softwarespecialist hits 30 per cent growth rate in United States

Reflex Data is stepping up investment in the American market after seeing the value of its business with leading US fabric and wallpaper brands soar by 30 per cent to £1.5m in the last two years.

The specialist developer of software for the textiles industry is making additional resources available, including appointing an agent and running a New York office, to achieve further growth.

The firm, based at Hessle, near Hull, where it employs around 40 people, has made its name with the Mertex software that has become the standard for leading UK manufacturers after being developed to meet the industry's specific and unique needs.

It is confident about making further gains after an encouraging first appearance at the American industry's biggest trade show, the ITA (International Textile Alliance) Showtime Market at High Point, North Carolina, in June.

Stuart Beet, vice president sales and marketing, said: "We had a head start because of the well-known American brands that already use our software. There was plenty of interest in Mertex's potential to be transformative for businesses looking for complete fabric management and control."

Reflex Data, which also serves markets in Europe and Australia, secured Export for Growth funding to support its attendance at the four-day show after working with Sharon Stathers, international trade adviser at the Department for International Trade, Yorkshire and the Humber.

Mark Robson, the DIT's regional director for Yorkshire and the Humber, said Reflex was a good example of a forward looking company that fully recognised the potential of overseas markets.

"Our role is to help businesses in the region grow through international business," he said. "We know there is a mass of untapped potential on our doorstep with the skills, heritage, products and services to make an impact in competitive overseas markets."

With Reflex Data CEO Jeremy Alcock, Mr Beet has been a frequent traveller to the US to lay the foundations for business growth over there.

Mr Alcock said: "We have been able to run our American interests from the UK so far, but we clearly need an official presence there and are putting in the resources necessary to take the business forward. Our investment will include measures to ensure that we replicate the levels of customer service that have been pivotal to our success in the UK."

Reflex's US business hit the £1m mark as a result of deals struck with New York brands Carnegie, Swavelle Mill Creek, Pollack Associates and Arc-Com.

Exporting for Growth is part of the European Regional Development Fund and provides funding and advice for exporters.

Latest Office of National Statistics figures show that in the year to March UK exports increased by 9.2 per cent to £628.8b.