Schleich USA, the world’s leading manufacturer of animal figurines, announced that 2020 was its strongest year of growth to date in the US market, finishing the year with strong double digit growth and outpacing the industry. Globally, the company grew by 5%.
“2020 tested our organization and caused us to pivot everything from sales and marketing to operations,” said David Albert, Managing Director, Schleich USA. “That pivot allowed us to create a stronger and broader business. We were able to get our products into the right brick and mortar and online retailers, grow our e-commerce business, strengthen our partner relationships and shift our communication efforts toward digital. And all of this was done while continuing to grow our team.”
The first full year of the Schleich e-commerce platform, in addition to added focus on retailer’s online platforms and essential businesses, proved effective during a time when consumers sought products to engage children at home. From cows to dinosaurs, all Schleich products saw an increase, with the Horse Club and Farm World franchises being the highest gross franchises, while Eldrador and bayala had the largest growth.
“Our work before the pandemic set a solid foundation for growth,” said Albert. “We accomplished everything we hoped to achieve in 2020, just in different ways. And we were able to get more products than ever into the hands of families in the US, inspiring imagination for kids of all ages.”
Marketing efforts to raise brand awareness in a time when consumers were looking for educational toys for their children contributed to sales. Schleich launched its Power of Imagination campaign in February engaging with thousands of children in programs ranging from a global photo contest to a Times Square billboard, reminding adults just how magical, colorful and unexpected a child’s imagination can be, particularly when engaged in open ended play with Schleich figurines and playsets. The campaign served as the backbone of integrated marketing and retailer efforts that led to a new brand awareness high in the United States, up 12 percentage points year over year.
2021 has seen continued momentum, with new products launching across all six core Schleich franchises.