Herbie Dayal, CEO at KMI Brands, discusses innovation and consumer loyalty

The UK based company is looking to grow its export business

UK based KMI was established by Herbie Dayal and Will King 20 years ago, to market shaving oil under the King of Shaves brand name. Since then, King of Shaves and KMI have gone their separate ways, with Dayal turning his attention to growing KMI’s portfolio of brands, which today include Ted Baker, Naked and Orla Kiely, among others. He talks to Cosmetics Business about the company’s next phase of growth.

What prompted your decision to take Orla Kiely into the US?

The main business for Orla Kiely is in the UK, but we’ve had some success in developing the brand overseas. So far, we’ve expanded into Scandinavia, South Korea, Australia and the US. We’re also in talks with retailers to enter the Middle East. In the US, we entered Neiman Marcus earlier this year, and the brand is online as well via beautyhabit.com and some independent stores. Although the brand is relatively new in the US, it translates very well to US customers.

Are you looking to buffer the effects of the European downturn through international growth?

The reason we want to grow our export business is because we put a lot of time, investment and effort into developing our products, so the more markets we can service, the better our return on investment. It’s not about the economy as much as it is opportunity. Over the next five to six years, we hope that international business will become a much bigger part of our company.

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