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Industry Talk

US growth for Whyte and Ivory

Recent investment in wide-width digital printing enables a broad range of bespoke fabrics to be created.

15th July 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Nelson, Lancashire, United Kingdom


Specialist SME investment business Seneca Partners reports that Whyte and Ivory, its private equity investment, continues its seamless track record of year-on-year growth – breaking through £10 million of sales this year.

Whyte and Ivory, based in Nelson, Lancashire, is a textiles business focusing on wholesale contract curtain fabrics and linings which exports a considerable proportion of sales into the EU and also has a subsidiary based in North Carolina.

Seneca investors, which holds a 30% stake in the UK based business, first invested in Whyte and Ivory in 2019 to support the founders in building out the team and expanding its global customer base.

In the last three years US Sales have grown 650% – reward for the investment made in a North Carolina warehouse and over £1 million in stock to support key US accounts and markets. The business is now adding US customers at an average of one per week.

A master wholesaler to some of the world’s leading home furnishings and contract fabrics brands, Whyte and Ivory continues to grow its network of distributors. Key to this is the recent investment in bulk wide-width digital printing equipment, enabling broad ranges of bespoke fabrics to be created at lower investment cost for distributors to the hotel and corporate sectors.

Whyte and Ivory has also just launched two more sustainable products – a 50% GRS recycled polyester/50% Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) version of its best-selling Manchester Satin lining and a 50% recycled polyester version of its popular Linen FR sheer. Most of the company’s linings can now come with BCI accreditation.

“Despite the difficult trading conditions, Whyte & Ivory has built revenues year-on-year and delivered on each of the core strategies in its business plan,” said Richard Manley, CEO of Seneca Partners. “The growth in the US has been phenomenal as the team has differentiated its proposition from the major players in the market. The digital print capability that Seneca has invested in is market leading across the world. This has really changed the conversation with customers as they recognise Whyte & Ivory as an innovator and leader in the sector.”

“We plan to keep building sales from the UK but really see the US as a huge market opportunity for us,” added Peter Hamilton, founder of Whyte and Ivory. “We have the best quality product in the market offered at competitive prices, all the while retaining the premium service proposition of a dynamic, private business that is passionate about customer service. The results of this are evident in the numbers.”

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