Gloucester-based Stewart Golf has seen US sales soar to reach $2 million in the first half of 2020, four times higher than the same period in 2019.
Social distancing has meant many golfers in the US have been unable to use shared golf carts or rental trolleys, but Stewart Golf’s electric trolleys enable players to take to the course safely and without the need to shoulder the weight of a golf bag.
To meet demand, the company has grown its staff count from 14 to 23 since the Coronavirus lockdown, bolstering its factory headcount where all trolleys are built by hand.
Stewart Golf CEO Mark Stewart said: “The US has been an important market for our business in recent years, but the last 6 months have laid bare the importance of exports to our company’s growth and resilience.
“Sales to the US have enabled us to continue expanding and we already have plans to increase our production space even further over the year ahead.”
Since establishing a base in Gloucester more than a decade ago, Stewart Golf has been exporting its golf trolleys to more than 40 countries around the world.
In 2018, the company opened a new £1 million factory in the city.
Stewart Golf made its first golf trolley in 2004 after more than four years of development and prototyping. The business is run by engineers, so product design and innovation is fundamental and delivered Stewart Golf’s flagship model: the X9 Follow; a golf trolley that will follow its owner automatically at the touch of a button.
The business relocated to Waterwells Business Park after 13 years at its original location in Stroud. The new, 10,000 sq ft building provides allows for significant future growth.
In 2019 it became a net exporter for the first time with 60% of sales coming from outside the UK. As of June 2020 that figure stood at 78%, with 60% of total output going to the US.
Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP, added: “Stewart Golf’s success is a fantastic example of British innovation in the sports sector and it is great to see their increased trade creating further employment.
“UK expertise and craftsmanship is in high demand in the US and elsewhere. This, combined with a future trade agreement, should encourage fellow businesses to look to the US market for export opportunities.”
The fourth round of trade negotiations between the UK and US aims to agree a deal that benefit British companies like Stewart Golf by easing trade restrictions for small businesses.