Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Manchester, UK-based Business "Star Cutouts" Faces A Bright Future

From the Manchester Evening News:
Star Cutouts faces a bright future

A company that makes life-size cardboard cut-outs of celebrities has launched a range of masks as it looks to expand across the Atlantic.

Star Cutouts, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, holds licences to make masks and life-size figures of famous people including the Manchester United squad, Dr Who characters and Elvis Presley.

It decided to launch its range of £3 masks so it had products at a lower price point for cash-strapped customers. Full-size figures retail at £30.

Big sellers so far have included United favourite Javier Hernandez.

The company has also signed deals for ranges based on Star Wars and Disney characters, which will launch in the new year.

It sells to retailers including Forbidden Planet and party stores, and achieved revenues of £500,000 in the 12 months to March 31, with £700,000 predicted for the current year.

Managing director Ian Ravey said: “The growth has been driven by a combination of investing in new products and licences and expanding into Europe.”

Star Cutouts now sells to distributors and retailers in France, Belgium and Germany, and plans to target Spain and Italy next, where it has high hopes for its products based on Nickelodeon children's TV characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants [and iCarly, and Dora The Explorer].

Mr Ravey said: “We also want to launch in the USA within six to 12 months and plan to open a distribution office in California.

“We are working to renegotiate some of the European or UK licences we currently hold to include America as well.”

The company was founded in 2005 and has 10 staff.

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