Exclusive: Razor - reinventing the wheel year after year

After UK distribution partner Re:creation sunk into administration last week, ride-on specialist Razor went into overdrive to make Christmas happen in the UK. TNP.MEDIA talks to EMEA Sales Director James Dobson to learn more about its plans for the future

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 13.12.2019 | Business

Exclusive: Razor - reinventing the wheel year after year thumbnail

The news last week of Re:creation going into administration was met with sadness at the EMEA headquarters for RazorUSA – but also with the team’s signature calm and strategic planning.

EMEA Sales Director James Dobson tells TNP.MEDIA exclusively: “It is regrettable for the staff at re:creation, they have been our partners for 19 years. We knew them all well and liked them immensely but as the news hit us and was absorbed last week, it was imperative to us that we made Christmas happen for the children who were eagerly anticipating unwrapping a Razor bike or scooter on Christmas morning."

Seamless supply to retailers and therefore to consumers just weeks before Christmas may seem like a tall order but for the well-oiled Razor machine, it has been a successful and smooth transition.

“We have an enormous warehouse facility in Rotterdam and there are lorries being loaded up as we speak and other making their way to the UK ready to get those ride-ons into shops and into the hands of the children for Christmas morning” says James.

But what about beyond Christmas 2019 and into that all-important Toy Fair season that kicks off seemingly the minute the toy trade finishes that last mouthful of Christmas pudding? James is very clear in his plans and vision for 2020 and the UK market.

“Razor is a brand that has built a lot of credibility and confidence because at the heart of Razor is authenticity and quality," he says.   

"We have 15 new lines launching into the UK and Ireland next year and the previews that had been carried out were positive – there was very good commitment from retailers. We are already having conversations with retailers about those and the logistics and fulfillment of the SS2020 ranges. We have orders and will be taking more."

Speaking of the fairs, James is excited: “We are in conversation about having a booth at London Toy Fair but that is not firmed up and in all honestly, it may not be feasible in such a short period of time. However, I will be attending the show as will the team so we can meet with retailers. We really value the independent trade and want to foster good relationships with them and build good partnerships."

James goes on to say: ”Nuremberg’s Spielwarenmesse has always been a very significant show for us and with the British and Irish retailers travelling there in greater numbers and for more days too, that importance continues to grow. We will be showing all our new lines as well as some of the core and evergreen products that have brought so much innovation to the category and excitement to the kids."

Having had such a loyal and consistent distribution partner in Re:creation for such a long time will surely result in huge shift in operations for the EMEA Razor team? James agrees: “As a company which has been successful for two decades we are always looking at how we can improve and create better opportunities. Our FOB and Domestic arrangements are looking good, but this change has allowed us to evaluate – rapidly – what next and what different and what better?

“We will employ a flexible, hybrid distribution model. Ensuring that the needs of the channel or the consumer are met and that requires agility and fluidity. So it may be that to meet some parts of the market in the UK and Ireland a distribution partner is best, whereas other sides it could be direct relationships with retailers. We are collaborative above all – this is part of the success of Razor – and so we will look at which approach suits best."
This humble, professional and loyal approach is sure to win many fans in the channel and gain them a larger army of fans in terms of consumers. 

James expands: “We are a 20 year old brand and this is not our first rodeo. Getting the product to the channel, in the best way for the channel and allowing kids to play with our fantastic products is what we do best. That is not going to stop – it will only get better."

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