It’s highly likely you’ve got a Wham branded plastic storage container in your home. Whether it’s used to keep the kids’ Lego away from the dog’s jaws or to store food safely in the fridge, you’ve perhaps never considered how close to home it was made.
What More UK was established in 1999 by Burnley businessman Andy Holt. The business launched with 15 products, mainly plastic garden items, and turned over £4.5million in its ﬁrst year. Now, supplying some 1,800 independent stores and some huge nationwide retailers, the company operates from a 500,000 square feet site, and sales have risen to £48million.
Today, What More UK manufactures over 700 product lines including plastic storage boxes to plant pots, pet beds, washing up bowls, buckets and bins, sold under the trusted and value-for-money Wham brand. The business also has an extensive range of non-stick bakeware, including enamelware and the PushPan range of silicone sealed bakeware.
What More UK is a proud member and supporter of the Made In Britain campaign, which champions the strength and quality of UK manufacturing. What More UK director Tony Grimshaw OBE says, “We’re very passionate about our British-made roots here at What More. We are a ﬁrm set up by a local lad, creating jobs for local people with high quality manufacturing at its core.”
Earlier this year, the company won the favour of double Michelin star celebrity chef Tom Kerridge as he launched his signature range of British made kitchenware. After the chef visited What More UK’s state-of-the-art toolroom at its Altham site, What More UK put into production a set of three nested enamel oven trays bearing the Tom Kerridge insignia. The range is now available in high-end cookware retailers and department stores.
Tony Grimshaw is proud of What More UK’s involvement in the Tom Kerridge range. He says, “Tom was impressed by the scale of our manufacturing operation and the fact that we can take a product from outline concept to consumer-ready, all in-house. He was searching for high quality British made products he was happy to put his name on, and we were delighted that What More UK fit the brief.”
In 17 years of business What More UK has not only sold its plastic housewares, garden products, storageware and bakeware into retail chains and independent stores nationwide, but also conquered markets across the globe.
Tony says that, without a doubt, ‘Made in Britain’ goes down well in overseas markets. “It sounds a bit old-fashioned but there’s still an aura around British manufactured products in export: it oozes quality and reliability and service, the ingredients that don’t seem to be in abundance.”
The company began exporting its products in 2007. Today exports account for 15% of What More UK’s annual turnover as the business looks way beyond Europe and doesn’t show any signs of faltering in the post-Brexit economy. Tony says, “Our export team has worked hard on new markets and it’s to their credit that our products are now shipped to a staggering 68 countries worldwide, including China, Brazil, Australia and the most recent addition Vietnam.”