This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
viewpoint David

equally as busy. Toys R Us also laid out their ‘low price’ stall in

Ripley Chief Operating Officer of Winning Moves

3-2-1 Go!

The race to the bottom on toy prices has well and truly begun. The initial shots in the annual Christmas discounting wars have been fired: Smyths Toys ran a 20% off all toys in mid-September, which was closely followed by the predictable Argos 3-for-2 on all toys in late September. The Smyths promotion took place over a weekend and was so successful that the high level of traffic crashed their website, I am sure the stores were

August by promising to beat any online price, which includes matching Amazon. It remains to be seen if customers will bother to drive to a TRU to exercise such a promise or will they simply buy the products with free shipping online in the first place? It is an attempt to curb the consumer habit of ‘show-rooming’ but I am not convinced that it will materially address the trend. At the same time the traditional price leader in toys, Tesco, looked positively disinterested in the category, reflected by the large reduction in their non-food range space and filling their traditional seasonal space with everything but toys. I am confident that the toy market share conceded

by Tesco will comfortably be picked up by the rest of the retail trade. This could well change the shape of the UK’s top 10 toy retailer charts by the end of 2013. On the subject of top 10s, a majority of retailers have now fully declared on their top toy lists for Christmas and it is apparent that the majors continue to play

safe with lists, in the main, consisting of products from the top 10 toy manufacturers. Even the Tesco top toys list did not escape the cuts, with them announcing a top 10 this year down from a top 12 last Christmas...a sure sign of the times. Looking across the various retailer top toy lists, the key items consistently listed for this Christmas are Furby Boom, LeapPad Ultra, Teksta Puppy and Monopoly Empire. Early pricing indications show Furby Boom selling for £39.99 on Amazon, a full 33% below its RRP of £59.99, the LeapPad Ultra is selling for £79.99, also on Amazon again a full 33% below the RRP of £119.99. The Teksta Puppy is selling on Amazon for 33% below the RRP of £59.99 at £39.99…spotted the trend yet? All products include Amazon’s basic free shipping. Monopoly Empire can be picked up for £15.00, a saving of £4.99 or 25% on the £19.99 RRP from Tesco Direct, shipping costs a further £3. Based on the perfect mix of very keen prices and

free postage, expect Amazon to be very close to the top of the tree in the toy retailer charts this year.

This principle is one that has helped make Toyota the

Ali Mafi 50 Fifty Gifts

The Toyota way

I keep getting told that I boldly say what others think but dare not say. I would argue I am the same in many aspects of my life; I say it how I see it. I am, very occasionally, guilty of telling little white lies to either please someone or get them off my back, but generally I am blunt, and some see this as a great virtue. I will not, for example, lie to suppliers about a cheque being in the post; there is no point, because if it isn’t all it will achieve is a barrage of calls or emails I would have to dodge while chasing it. I find people react a lot more favourably if you call a few days before a payment is due, apologise and say it will be late, but will be paid on such and such a day. This approach has many benefits, it will gain you

respect and credibility, it avoids the stress of having to lie or duck and dive, and it helps the other side plan their cash position in the same way I do. The principle my son, Darvoud, and I like is one of being firm but fair. I find it incredible how some people, even after years of experience, have not fathomed out the basic principles of human behaviour. People work harder and achieve more if they feel involved, recognised and appreciated. It has been proven, time and time again, that a pat on the back is more effective than a pay rise. An increase in salary may cause an evening of celebration, and a couple of days of euphoria, but after that it’s just their salary.

48 Toyworld

largest car manufacturer on the planet. There are more Lexus bought in the US than BMWs and Mercedes put together, and it started with one simple principle: in every company, any individual, however lowly their position, is capable of coming up with ideas to improve things and, by improving things, little by little, you get as near to perfection as possible. Honestly, there is so much I can tear some tyrannical bosses apart for that I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start in the morning, and give me an explanation please, but what exactly is to be gained by grilling an employee for being a few minutes late? What exact benefit is there in knowing why they are late? All one achieves is wasting more time. Like I have said, repeatedly, business is not about body counts, it’s about getting the work done. So if you have a great employee who is always late, put them on flexi time. Simple as that. It is utter madness to create a situation where he or she sits in her car flustered and worried about the dressing down or even abuse they will get when arriving. Hardly a formula conducive to getting the best out of people... The idiot bosses who think they have to know

everything and meddle should, in my opinion, be banned from holding such positions. If, as a boss of a company, you have to approve the purchase of loo paper and coffee in your office, you should be ashamed of yourself. I just don’t buy the trust crap, only people who are themselves untrustworthy have difficulty in trusting people, and the best way of making people trustworthy is by trusting them. Okay, you will always find the odd rogue, but then they will find ways. You want people to be honest and hard working? Then make them feel part of the business. It is amazing the lengths people go to for the business if they feel part of it and rewarded and appreciated accordingly. I will repeat a saying from my favourite management

guru, Tom Peters: “In every organisation there are people who may be involved in charity work, struggling

to work and bring up a decent family, great at a sport, a talented artist, a caring son or daughter to their elderly parents. To sum up, they’re a bunch of caring, talented, compassionate, competitive people except during the eight hours they work for you.” Who cares if someone is regularly late? Is it that big a deal if you have a single mum who is great at her job but has to get her kids to school before leaving for work? If you are incapable of creating an environment where, at the very least, people don’t dread coming in on Monday mornings, then you truly are a lousy manager and boss. Both in life and at work we need to find time with people, we need to show them we care and that they are important to us. Lack of time is, by far, the most lame and pathetic excuse one can give for neglecting friends and colleagues. Barrack Obama has exactly the same 24 hours in a day as we have, and he manages it. It absolutely amazes that some tyrannical clowns get away with it, but I firmly believe that what goes around comes around, and a time will always come when they need the help and effort of those they have so royally pissed off in the past. Ask yourself this question: it’s the 28th of the month and you need to get a big order out to receive money to pay the rent and salaries, and the warehouse guys haven’t shown up. Do you have enough members of staff who suggest that you should order some coffee and pizzas and will willingly work through the night to get the job done? If the answer is no, then have managed to turn a bunch of good people with a capacity to help into mere hour fillers. You get out of life what you put into it, and no one was put on this planet to make you and me rich, that’s a fact. Give people the opportunity to make themselves rich whilst contributing to your coffers and you have every chance of laughing all the way to the bank. Listen to ideas, be kind and considerate, be trusting and you will have an office full of dedicated people who will respect you and be there when you need them.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76