The August front cover holder KAP Toys faced a particular set of lockdown challenges; Toy World finds out more, and what the rest of 2020 holds.
Lockdown continues to offer up novel experiences; my interview with KAP Toys started with my first ever Zoom tour of a warehouse. Nat was understandably keen to show off the company’s new site, having consolidated two locations in Wales to move to a single new one in North Yorkshire. Timing wise, it wasn’t ideal, at Nat explained.
“We’d already decided to relocate the business before the pandemic started, and the plan was simple enough,” he said. “I would spend two weeks at each Welsh site before it closed to oversee the handover. The office was due to close on 31st March, but the lockdown started on the 23rd. At that point, all our plans went out the window. We had to move the office to the warehouse on 18th March, and the next challenge we faced was moving out of the warehouse. We’d been given a date of 27th April for that, but with the lockdown in full swing, and the paperwork for our new warehouse not yet finalised, I couldn’t spend any time sorting through our inventory to ensure we only moved what we wanted. We had to pay for the entire contents of the warehouse to be moved here; returns, broken pallets, things that really should have gone in a skip. All of it went in multiple lorries.”
Nat also had to furlough his own brother, who oversees indie sales (though he is now back at work), and, to make matters worse had a serious issue with import tax, as detailed in the article. However, with the assistance of Far Logistics, which Nat says went above and beyond to help, KAP Toys was able to sort it out.
With its various hurdles now overcome, the company is looking forward to the rest of 2020. A major launch, the Harry Potter Magical Capsules, is now shipping and performing well; a video of the range has surpassed 2,200,000 views on TikTok, while a coordinated campaign by BlogOn founder Laura Seaton achieved over 3,500,000 views within days. Nat is keen to catch up with customers regarding what else the company has to offer. KAP Toys recently became the UK & Ireland distributor for Lego Lites from IQHK and has high hopes for the brand; so much so, Nat says he’s having to temper the team’s enthusiasm to get stuck in immediately.
“The past few months have been about survival for most people,” he adds. “This will have been the most challenging time anyone in the toy industry will ever have faced, and none of us are going to forget it in a hurry. There’s optimism now, which the toy industry has always had in spades, so we all need to work together – manufacturers, suppliers and retailers alike – to support each other’s success.”
To read the full article, which was published in the August issue of Toy World, click here.