Ruroc scoops Barclays’ International Expansion Award

Ruroc

A designer and manufacturer of winter sports helmets and goggles has won the UK International Expansion category at the Barclays’ annual high-growth & entrepreneur awards, which celebrate entrepreneurs’ success, leadership and positive impact on society.

Gloucester-headquartered Ruroc has its own patented designs and continues to develop and improve the product range.

Number one priority is safety being the nature of the extreme winter sports and all products are tested and certified to a level higher than the competition. In house  teams design the products which are manufactured in China. Everything is imported from China with sales orders or managed and distributed from Gloucester.

The Rees family completed an MBO of the business in March 2015. Dan Rees was already working for the business at that time. From then on the company has achieved significant growth with sales revenue from £1.4 million to £2.1 million to £3.4 million and forecasting doubling growth to £7 million in the next financial year.

The business, which has over 1,000,000 followers on social media (mainly Facebook),  is e-commerce focussed with a direct to consumer model which has bucked the trend in the winter sports model that mostly rely on independent stores and large distribution chains.

By going direct to customer and cutting out the middle man they have been able to vastly improve product quality and innovation of the products.

Social media has been the key for them entering the US market and transatlantic sales amount to 50 per cent of annual sales.

Richard Heggie, Head of High Growth & Entrepreneurs Proposition at Barclayssaid: “The Barclays High-Growth & Entrepreneur Awards, now in its third year, has proved to be a valuable and influential business competition for entrepreneurs and high growth businesses across the country. Entrepreneurs are fundamental to the UK’s economic competitive advantage, disproportionately driving job growth, attracting investment, and creating the innovative products and services that shape our todays as well as tomorrows. ”

The company sponsored Max Parrot (Canadian Snow Boarder – Olympic Silver Medalist, 9 times X Games medallist and 3 times world champion) on a five year agreement under which he will design and wear a Ruroc helmet in the Winter 2018 and 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Sales in the Asian marked spiked significantly through the winter Olympics with 310 per cent growth to China and 205 per cent to South Korea. European markets have also increased rapidly with more than 100 per cent growth in France, Poland, Austria and Germany. It is believed that one of the key reasons for this is they are employing staff from these countries who work on the social media marketing and dialogue with fan base in the respective languages.