GIFTS: Record sales for Russ Berrie as Spring promotions get underway

UK. Travel retail sales for toy and gift specialist Russ Berrie increased by +30% in 2002 over the previous year.

“Russ had a fantastic year in 2002,” said director duty free sales Garry Stoner. “We set ambitious targets for the year but more than met them.”

A number of factors contributed to these excellent results said the company: new regional business, new customers, and increased business with existing customers. One area of particular growth was the Middle East. “We have doubled our sales in this region during the past three years,” said Stoner, ” and this area remains a huge area of growth for us.”

Last year Russ found success with instore promotions by working with its retail partners. A good example was the Christmas promotion with World Duty Free (pictured). Russ Berrie installed a Christmas Sleigh in all nine of BAA’s UK airport terminals from early November until the end of 2002. Banners entitled: “Everything you could wish for” helped attract passengers to the area.

WDF and Russ Berrie have agreed a Spring merchandising programme this year to give Russ space for a mobile promotional unit, sited in high traffic areas, in each major shopping environment. Recently installed is a “country cart” which will be merchandised with different Russ Berrie toys and gifts themed to different sales opportunities, starting with Valentine’s Day. This will be followed by Easter and Mother’s Day. “The idea is to add theatre to the shopping experience,” said Stoner.


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