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subscribe for daily updates at Poundland hits £880m sales

Poundland is aiming to more than double its number of UK stores after securing record sales of £880m for the 52 weeks ending 31 March 2013. During the period, the retailer achieved 14.6% growth in gross profits to £323.4m and made record underlying earnings of £45.4m, up 15.6% over the previous year. There are currently 458 stores across the UK, and the company’s CEO, Jim McCarthy, has said that the retailer is on track to open 1,000 stores, should the current levels of growth continue. During the aforementioned period the retailer opened 69 new stores. Poundland’s European sister company, Dealz, is also performing well opening its first two stores in 2011, and now owns 26. Poundland recently revealed plans to open a new 350,000 sq ft distribution centre in Essex that will create 650 permanent jobs to cope with rising demand.

Milton Bayer to work on Steffi Love


Retailer of the Year Awards application process opens

The application process for the 2013 Retailer of the Year Awards is now open with The British Toy & Hobby Association announcing newly-amended retailer award categories as well as a new online entry process. The amended categories are designed to give more relevance and clarity than in previous years and to encourage greater participation whilst the new online application process makes entry more straightforward and accessible for retailers. Retailers can compete nationally in like-for-like categories and can apply in

more than one category, if applicable. Self-nominations are permitted, together with nominations coming from a panel of nationwide industry experts. Retailers can visit to take part.

Simba Smoby UK has announced the appointment of strategic creative agency Milton Bayer to work on fashion doll brand Steffi Love. Steffi will be getting a full makeover in 2014, with a significant marketing campaign to support the brand. Milton Bayer has toy industry experience with the likes of The Entertainer and Mookie and will be delivering a fresh brand look and a fully interactive, immersive website for Steffi Love that will support the overall campaign. Alex Kovacevic, Simba Smoby’s marketing and licensing manager, commented about the campaign that will be unveiled fully at London Toy Fair in January. He said: “2014 will be the first time that Steffi Love has been supported with a full range of TV, online, experiential and PR support. Combined with the maintenance of our retail price points and offering outstanding margin for the retailer, Steffi will be a must-have girls’ brand next year.”

The Entertainer opens in Dubai

Coiledspring Games’ launches Shopatron-enabled website

The new website launched by Coiledspring Games has been designed with its customers and consumers in mind, and the integration of Shopatron has made serving both parties even easier. Stephen Woodman and the sales team had listened carefully to what their retailers told them about the market, and realised that Shopatron, an e-commerce solution that allows online sales to be fulfilled by local retail partners, was the way forward. Roger Martin, Coiledspring Games’ managing director, said: “We can tell from the stats that we receive a lot of visits to our website from consumers looking for product information, and we also know that when people want to buy a product they don’t always want to have to work out who their nearest retailer is. By adding Shopatron, customers can ‘buy’ from our site, but the order, and the revenue, goes to their nearest Shopatron-enabled retailer. It’s another way for us to support our retailers as it’s completely free for them to sign up as a fulfilment partner.” Roger Martin told Toy World that the company’s previous website was getting on for

The Entertainer has signed an agreement with franchisee Al Owais Enterprises to open its first store in the Al-Ghurair Shopping Centre in Deira, Dubai in December in time for peak Christmas trading. Al Owais will open another 44 stores over the next five years in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The Entertainer’s Gary Grant commented: “In Al Owais we believe we

have a partner who meets all of our requirements. It is a long-established and successful business in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], operating across multiple sectors.”

six years old, and while still generating business, it was built to showcase around 15% of the products the company has now. He said: “We have so many new partners and products that it was starting to hold us back a little bit. Every year we mooted a new website as a project, but the business has been growing so fast that it was always put on a back burner. When Rachael Wyatt joined us last year it was the perfect opportunity to move it forward as she has a background in web development and marketing.” Coiledspring Games has also revealed some new releases coming up from its

partners. The Creativity Hub has launched the Extraordinaires Design Studio. There’s a new pre-school game on the way from ThinkFun, new 3D puzzles from Wrebbit, and the company will be keeping the momentum going with Sorgenfresser. Roger added: “We’ve also signed an exclusive distribution deal with Purple Cow, for pocket money games in a pre-loaded CDU, all excellent quality and at a very good price point. We’ve also identified a few new games that we’re really keen to bring into our portfolio, but I’m not saying too much about that right now.”

14 Toyworld

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