Wedgwood stretches brand into new areas

China manufacturer Wedgwood could soon be selling leather handbags alongside the traditional tableware products.

The company, which is better known for fine bone china and figurines, is refocusing its brands in a bid to double sales and triple profits by the end of the decade.

Part of this plan, called Millennium 2000, involves introducing personal accessory items such as pens and leather goods to the UK. A wider selection of Wedgwood brands are available in Japan, where leather handbags have been introduced in the past year.

Chief executive Brian Patterson says the company will need to work on building the Wedgwood brand before launching leather goods in the UK.

Patterson adds it is also possible that the company will sell tea and coffee brands.

Patterson has spearheaded Wedgwood’s sales and marketing refocus, which includes the search for a new ad agency. BST.BDDP and Mustoe Merriman Herring Levy are on the shortlist.

In May, Paul Hick was ap-pointed managing director with responsibilities for sales and marketing of all Wedgwood brands worldwide.

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