BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 6 March 2008, 00:51 GMT
Beach kilt targets overseas sales
The Instakilt
The beach kilt is to be marketed in Japan, the US and Australia
The summer success of a beach towel which doubles as a kilt has prompted a small Scots firm to market the product in Japan, the US and Australia.

Dalbeattie-based Thistle Products saw turnover rise 40% to 1.72m last year on the back of its Instakilt.

Managing director Ernie Parkinson said the tartan towel had proved an "overwhelming hit".

The company also produces other novelty gifts such as the See You Jimmy hat and a haggis flavour oatcake.

The Instakilt was launched in June last year and is a tartan beach towel with a sporran printed on it in order to look like a kilt when wrapped around the waist.

Sales proved so strong that the south of Scotland company had to hire extra staff to cope with demand.

'Great year'

Now it plans different designs of Instakilt featuring a new range for children and a variety of colours - including bright pink.

The company - with support from Scottish Enterprise - hopes to sell the towels to the US, Australia and Japan.

"2007 has been a great year for us and we've really focussed hard on working with our retail customers to increase sales," said Mr Parkinson.

"The Instakilt was an overwhelming hit with shoppers and tourists alike.

"We are extending our range this spring, broadening our demographic appeal and adding exciting new colours, and we are really looking forward to breaking into new markets abroad."

Mike Paterson of Scottish Enterprise said it was delighted by the company's success.

"Thistle Products is a great example of a local company who we have been able to help share the risk to develop their marketing and explore new markets," he said.

SEE ALSO
Beach kilt proves a seaside hit
22 Aug 07 |  South of Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific