Merseyside brand marketing specialist Wild Thang is stepping up its international operations by opening a new base in the Republic of Ireland. Tony McDonough reports
Brand marketing specialist Wild Thang has set up an office warehousing and distribution base in the Republic of Ireland as it steps up its international expansion plans.
In the past couple of years Bootle-based Wild Thang has shrugged off the effects of Brexit and the pandemic to push on with an expansion of its business, investing in excess of £2m to transform its headquarters, buy new machinery and grow its team.
Wild Thang manufactures and supplies a full range of branded marketing materials. Its blue-chip clients have included Sky Bet, Paddy Power, Wembley Stadium and Liverpool and Everton football clubs. Managing director Andrew Dwerryhouse founded the firm 25 years ago with a £1,500 Princes Trust grant.
For the past few years it has built a client base overseas, particularly within the European Union (EU). It made sure it was well prepared for the UK’s exit from the EU. Late last year those efforts were recognised when it scooped the International Award at the Liverpool Chamber Innovation in Business Awards.
Now, with its roster of international clients continuing to grow, Wild Thang is looking to simplify the process of working overseas even further by setting up an Irish-based subsidiary, based in Dublin and Kilkenny. This new entity will sit inside the customs union and single market, offering friction-free trade with the rest of the EU.
As part of the international growth plan Wild Thang has become a member of the British and Irish Trading Alliance (BITA) to help build its customer base and supply chain worldwide. Andrew told LBN: “What better day to announce our long term Irish and European expansion plans than on St Patrick’s Day.
“We already have strong and well established business relationships with some great Irish companies so it’s fantastic to finally be able to announce that we are now also an Irish trading entity. We believe Dublin had to be our natural European base, not only because of the proximity but also the special and close trading relationship Liverpool and the Republic of Ireland has had over the centuries.
“It’s not a straightforward path and it’s been a challenging journey each step of the way to get to this point, but the team’s hard work has paid off to now create seamless trade between the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond.”
Initially, the Irish operation will be run by Liverpool-based Wild Thang team members who are making regular trips across the Irish Sea although Andrew hopes to see permanent staff there by the end of the year. The overall expansion sees Wild Thang headcount rise to 45, a number Andrew expects to grow to 50 by the end of 2022.
He added: “Wild Thang has already seen significant demand for international distribution over the last few years, and now we have big growth plans for 2022. This really is another exciting piece of the puzzle that will help us meet those long term growth aspirations.
“We have already started to grow our network by becoming a member of the British Irish Trading Alliance in January and have recently attended our first Dublin B2B BITA event in February.
“BITA is a fantastic organisation that puts a huge amount of emphasis on facilitating building positive business relationships through friendship for the long term.
“I would personally like to thank Paul Whitnell who is president at BITA and has taken time out to visit Wild Thangs UK HQ, made some fantastic introductions and genuinely given us the warmest of welcomes in true Irish spirit.”
Mr Whitnell said: “Wild Thang is a great addition to this growing eco system. Andrew’s values mirror that of the organisation – integrity, passion and delivery. Innovation and sustainable growth is at the forefront of this amazing business and we are so proud to have their total commitment to building a better future because together we are stronger.”