Toy World editor Rachael Simpson-Jones visited Siso Toys UK MD Martin Whitaker and UK marketing manager Mayur Pattni.
In May 2018, the formation of Siso Toys UK was announced, with Martin Whitaker, a former Mattel sales manager, at the helm. Responsible for Simba Dickie’s licensing portfolio, Martin explains that the company was created to meet a different need for Simba, with a marketing-led approach designed to succeed in a marketplace featuring fewer retailers capable of delivering promotionally driven volume than there were in the past.
“UK retail strategy has completely changed,” he says. “There’s been a notable shift from chasing volume to making margin – and margin is now king. That’s the new reality for us all.”
When asked if the subsidiary has been a success, Martin is honest in his appraisal. “In terms of where we are now? Yes. Have we got to where we want to be? No. We have a short-, medium- and long-term vision in terms of what we want to deliver, and while we have pretty much achieved the short-term goals, the others remain a work in progress. Bear in mind that we’re only 15 months in at this stage; we’ve spoken to all the retailers we set our sights on as part of the short-term vision, and all have been very receptive to what we have to say. We’re now speaking to those retailers that we feel should be a part of the medium-term vision, and we’re very encouraged by the feedback we’ve had.”
To read the full article, which was published in September issue of Toy World, click here.