Irish acquisition means more growth in store for Bristol retail services firm

April 25, 2014

Bristol-based specialist in-store support firm eXPD8, has made its second acquisition in the last six months, taking over the field marketing division of Tradewins Ireland.

The move builds on the firm’s existing presence in the country and increases group turnover to more than £20m.

eXPD8 was launched in Bristol 2003 by directors Mark Thurgood and Pete Bailey, who were both formerly of Somerfield. Bailey was also previously finance director at Lidl.

The firm provides specialist in-store support services to multiple retailers and leading FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) brands which are designed to improve a product’s availability, maximise display compliance, increase brand awareness and ensure sales expectations are exceeded.

Its services include product merchandising, compliance audits, POS (point-of-sale) placement and promotional set-ups. It also offers product ordering, stocktaking, returns management, mystery shopping and one-off tactical support.

Tradewins Ireland is the leading provider of retail and marketing support services in the Republic of Ireland, employing 550 people. It works with retailers, including Dunnes and Tesco, as well as leading grocery brands. It will now trade under the name eXPD8@Tradewins and will be integrated with the existing eXPD8 operation in Dublin and employs 60-plus staff.

The new business will offer a range of retail support and marketing services including merchandising, compliance auditing, POS placement, sampling & product demonstrations, design and print, point of sales storage and distribution.

eXPD8 director Mark Thurgood said: “The Republic of Ireland is a growing marketplace and presents excellent growth opportunities for eXPD8 and forms an important part of our expansion plans. The acquisition is a great fit for us as part of our strategy to broaden our integrated retail support services. It will enable us to offer a wider portfolio of retail support and marketing services to existing and new clients in the UK and Ireland.”

Tradewins Ireland owner Art McGann will remain as chairman of eXPD8@Tradewins to maintain continuity of operations. He is joined on the board by Paul O’Donnell who has been appointed managing director of eXPD8@Tradewins. Mr O’Donnell is a senior director with more than 20 years’ experience of successfully managing operations on behalf of major retail, FMCG and logistics companies such as Musgrave, Diageo, Müller, Danone and Mondelez.

eXPD8’s purchase of Tradewins Ireland follows its acquisition of Worthing-based Merchandising Sales Force (MSF) last October. MSF is a leading provider of in-store demonstration and sampling services, experiential marketing and store development support, to many well-known retail brands.

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