LjK Sales and Marketing is a sales agency founded in 1999 that remains a family business.
Run by Leon and James Keys, LjK offers sales and marketing representation to a number of leading manufacturers and distributors within the Toy and Gift industries. Toy World spoke to James and Leon, and asked how they feel about reaching this landmark.
“Given the current retail and economic climate, it’s a fantastic achievement that we’re very proud of,” said James. “The business started in 1999, working with number of major toy manufacturers and distributors which were also in their infancy. It’s been great to have played a part in helping to establish and grow a number of brands, many of which are now evergreen best-sellers today. A 20th anniversary is a great milestone to celebrate, especially as a family business.”
He continued: “Retail has evolved significantly over the past 20 years, and we have had to change how we operate too. Fortunately, the days of writing orders by hand, posting copy orders or spending the evening loading the fax machine are long gone. Toy trends move so quickly, stock availability can change in an instant, and we can’t always wait for our next meeting with a customer to share an update, so email, text messages and even WhatsApp have become useful tools. Additionally, we run email campaigns similar to Toy World, to keep customers up to date on new products, marketing campaigns or promotions. However, although email, iPads and B2B systems have contributed to an almost paper-free office now, a printed catalogue is still one of our best sales tools.
The types of retailers we work with have certainly changed too; while toy shops remain an integral part of our business, it’s important to remember that a wide variety of retailers also sell toys. Our customer base is incredibly varied, made up of garden centres, department stores, buying group members, online, gift shops, museums, wholesalers, railway exhibitions, theme parks, farm and zoo attractions, comic and gaming shops and even pharmacies. Like all businesses, it is important for us to spread risk as much as possible by putting our eggs in different baskets.”
To read the full interview, which was published in our October issue, click here.