Ruislip-based nkd LIFE has secured a significant contract with US retailer Ace Hardware Corporation with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Ace Hardware is the world’s largest cooperative retailer, with over 5,000 stores worldwide. Almost all of the company’s stores are independently owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. nkd LIFE will supply its products to stores across the US.
nkd LIFE won the contract after it attended the Housewares, Household & General Merchandise event in Phoenix, following advice from DIT.
At the show, as well as meeting buyers from Ace Hardware, the business also won the ‘Buyers Choice Award’, being recognised for its product innovation and packaging.
Founded in 2017, nkd LIFE’s water bottle filters out 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and chemicals to create instantly clean drinking water.
Its state-of-the-art technology was developed by NASA and retains all of the water’s natural minerals whilst also raising the antioxidant level and slightly alkalising the water.
The business works with distributors across the Middle East, Spain and the United States, also supplying its products to developing countries to help them gain access to clean water.
Earlier this year, the company attended World Retail Congress as part of a DIT-led trade mission. nkd LIFE showcased its products at the show, shared its experience exporting to the US and talked to other UK retailers and brands considering trading overseas.
Its success is currently being celebrated as part of DIT’s Exporting is GREAT campaign, which showcases 30+ UK businesses – from a range of sectors and regions – to inspire and support firms up and down the country to export.
The business is now exploring opportunities in countries across Africa and South America after being introduced to global charity UNICEF by DIT.
Its products are currently waiting to receive accreditation from the World Health Organization.
Harry Singh, sales director at nkd LIFE, said: “DIT has supported us over the past few years to secure important contracts.
“These contracts help us to continue researching and developing water purifying technology.
“It can seem daunting to expand into unknown territories, where you may be faced with language barriers, taxes, shipping formalities and additional paperwork.
“However, once you have completed a few transactions, the process becomes much simpler, with a whole world of new opportunities awaiting.
“You can increase your potential market size exponentially very quickly. In an increasingly globalised world, I believe it is crucial to explore all possible sales opportunities.
Parveen Thornhill, head of the London regional trade team, Department for International Trade, said: “This significant order is a great step for nkd LIFE, and will allow the business to significantly increase its market share in the United States. Being recognised by such a large retailer will undoubtedly open many new doors for the business.”
“DIT is here to help firms like this as they navigate new international markets and standards, and we have International Trade Advisers on hand to provide specialist support and guidance to businesses across London.”