It was already a roaring commercial success, but due to its takeover by New York based private equity partner MidOcean Partners their growth potential has increased immensely. Its dollhouses, toy kitchens and wooden trains shall be sold in more shops and web shops. Moreover, KidKraft is going to enter unchartered territory by entering markets such as the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. Their goal of this European organization – based in Amsterdam – is to triple its turnover by 2020.
KidKraft is the global frontrunner in dollhouses and toy kitchens. “We were already doing brilliantly, but due to MidOcean Partners taking over, has made us truly open our eyes. Their investments in the European Organization – and the expectations that went along with that – are an igniting force for our commercial growth. There are still many opportunities up for grabs,” says Matijn de Bruijn. He’s the new Commercial Director of its European headquarters in Amsterdam (former Sales Director at Red Bull) and was hired by higher management in its Dallas headquarters to realize its ambitions in terms of the European Market. In order to make that happen a European commercial strategy was developed, in close cooperation with the head office.
“I was planning on doubling our turnover, but I was challenged to up the scales. I’ve received the headquarters’ full support to expand our team exponentially.” – Martijn de Bruijn, Commercial Director
Its strategy in order to triple their turnover is based on seven markers: improved distribution, improved in store execution, developing an effective pricing and promotional strategy, an effective e-commerce strategy, increasing online presence, optimization of the product range and restructuring the organization.
Working at KidKraft
The Bruijn tells us how he set up an entire new organizational structure in two days, together with the CFO/COO. Budget was freed to set up the Business Development Department in order to develop the brand and the sales team was not only increased in numbers of staff, but also divided into regions. This new structure is set to increase efficiency, lead to new and improved customer relations and more growth. There are four Regional Sales Managers for the regions:
- Germany, Austria, Switzerland
- France, Benelux, Scandinavia
- Great Britain and Ireland
- Southern & Eastern Europe, Middle East, Russia
At present, the position of Regional Sales Manager Germany, Austria, Switzerland is vacant. This professional manages an Account Manager and a Sales Representative (locally stationed in Germany). The Regional Sales Manager of France, Benelux and Scandinavia is in charge of two Account Managers – one for France and the other for Benelux/Scandinavia. The Regional Sales Managers work from the European headquarters in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam and they are abroad for a few days once every two weeks on average. They all report to the Commercial Director Martijn de Bruijn.
Job description Regional Sales Managers
The Regional Sales Managers are responsible for the total sum of sales and gross margin of their region, and they develop the commercial strategy, in which focus lies on attracting new customers and expanding current customer relations. These professionals are strategically involved in further development and implementation of strategy in accordance with the previously mentioned seven markers. For instance furthering development of their product portfolio. According to data both Santa and Sinterklaas like to give kids a toy kitchen or gardening tool set, which means there is a huge peak in sales over a short period of time. KidKraft wants to expand their range and look into other moments when sales could increase. Another way to improve their range is to translate consumer’s wishes into an improved supply. For instance: in Scandinavia parents don’t want toys to clash with their interior. That means toys should be either grey or wooden colored. This doesn’t match well with the existing colorful (American) product range. KidKraft products are often sold online (80-20). KidKraft wants to improve the presentation of their product experience online, for instance through brand pages on websites such as bol.com. There are opportunities offline too, in order to cater to the needs of the young consumer.
“I want kids to really experience the KidKraft world. It’s great that there is a large turnover in online sales – it’s understandable as a kitchen weighs up to 30 kilos – but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to work on our in-store segment.” – Martijn de Bruijn
Regional Sales Managers enjoy a lot of freedom and hold a huge responsibility: our strategy is clear and the targets have been established, but how Regional Sales Managers reach their goals is entirely up to them. The challenges lie in entrepreneurship, experimenting and just going about your business. In order to be successful these Managers work closely with the Business Development Manager and Commercial Director Martijn de Bruijn.