Publisher John Baulch visited Sambro’s Bury headquarters to speak to CEO Paul Blackaby about the company’s quiet (r)evolution.
It had been a few years since I last visited Sambro’s UK office – the large, imposing building in Bury it has called home for many years. My trip saw me meet with CEO Paul Blackaby, the man at the helm who has been quietly transforming the company from its pure value roots into a company that still offers great value across all of its product ranges, although now combined with far more exclusive product development and an ambitious environmental strategy.
110 people work from the Bury headquarters, which is the hub of the company, according to Paul: “The business is all about people and product. Co-operation is key. We don’t own factories, ships or trucks – we rely on many different partners, and it’s a massive effort to co-ordinate them all.”
However, like many other British-based operations, Brexit had a profound impact on the business, leading to some operations moving to an EU location. The company now operates a 3PL facility in Rotterdam and an office in Amsterdam.
Licensing has always been a key element for Sambro, and the business has become far more focused on properties from key partners in recent years. “First and foremost, we focus on our ‘big 4’ licensing partners – Paramount, Mattel, Hasbro and Disney,” explains Paul. “Then we look to build out a broader portfolio through partnerships with key licensors which have properties that align with our product ranges and our retail customers. We are happy to take calculated risks on successful new and emerging properties, as well as some brands which have proved that they have staying power, such as Acamar’s Bing.”
In this article, Paul goes on to talk about the company ethos of “unashamedly value driven”, key changes within Sambro, and why it has been its “best year ever”.
Finally, Paul spoke of the company’s strong environmental message, along with exciting plans for 2024.
Click here to read the full article, which appeared in the November edition of Toy World.