Belleek Pottery enters crystal market

Belleek Pottery, the County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland-based manufacturer of porcelain tableware and giftware, has entered the crystal market with the launch of its Belleek Living Crystal range.
The…

Belleek Pottery, the County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland-based manufacturer of porcelain tableware and giftware, has entered the crystal market with the launch of its Belleek Living Crystal range. The new collection of contemporary crystal stemware is the latest extension of the Belleek Living brand, which was launched in 2003, and which now represents 40% of the company“s global sales. “With the introduction of Belleek Living Crystal, we aim to grow our business by over EUR 3 million over the next two years”, John McGuire, group managing partner at Belleek Pottery said 22 August 2006. “We are setting ourselves an ambitious target but with quality products and a strong, confident brand profile, we are confident of succeeding”. Belleek, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2007, has invested EUR 2.25 million in its new crystal range, which will compete with Irish rival Waterford Wedgwood at the top end of the crystal market. “Belleek Living Crystal will enable us to further penetrate the very important gift market which in Ireland and the UK is estimated to be worth over EUR 450 million”, Mr Maguire said. To compete on price, the company has outsourced production of its new collection to a Czech crystal manufacturer, although all design and marketing will remain at its Fermanagh HQ. The Living Crystal line offers four different designs: Ice, Lines, Air and Wave; prices range from EUR 60 for two tumblers to EUR 140 for a set of four crystal goblets. “It“s certainly competitively priced”, said Mr Maguire. “This product has been in stores for about eight weeks now and already it“s going on wedding lists … Based on our research, it“s important to produce these products at the right price”. Unlike Waterford Wedgwood, Belleek is not using big name designers such as John Rocha and Jasper Conran for its new crystal range, but will rely on its own, in-house design team. “We felt that we would stay loyal to the Belleek brand”, said Mr Maguire, adding that the brand is recognised “right across the world”. Belleek“s sister company Galway Irish Crystal is already present in the market with a range of crystal giftware, but Mr Maguire explained that the Belleek range will be complementary rather than a competitor. The Belleek Living collection is now stocked in most department stores across Ireland, including Debenhams, Arnotts, and the Kilkenny Design Shop, and the range will soon be available in House of Fraser in Dublin“s Dundrum Shopping Centre. The company intends to continue adding products to complement its existing Belleek Living range.