Schleich expands its footprint across the U.S. with a new regional brand experience launching in select flagship toy stores nationwide. The latest shop to open is at ABC & Toy Zone in Rochester, MN on May 1.
Best known for its highly-detailed animal figurines and playsets, Schleich opened its first three flagship locations this season in Beverly Hills and San Mateo, Calif., as well as the Boston suburb of Kingston, Mass. The company plans to open as many as 25 shops in toy stores around the country by year’s end. The new Schleich flagship stores are an outgrowth of the toymaker’s successful pop-up shop concept that it debuted at a local mall in its home market, Charlotte, N.C., during Q4 2018.
“We are delighted with the early success of our retail initiative and look forward to expanding the Schleich flagship program to many more stores from coast-to-coast,” said Oliver Krause-Huckleberry, head of North America marketing, Schleich USA. “Our specially-designed flagship stores provide consumers with the full Schleich toy and brand experience, from our beautiful figurines and feature-rich playsets to life-sized animal models and more.”
Each 150- to 250-sq.-ft. Schleich brand experience includes colorful branded signage and showcases the company’s individual figurines and playsets for all six of its signature play worlds—Farm Word, Wild Life, Horse Club, bayala, Dinosaurs, and Eldrador Creatures. Retailers may also opt for display-sized figurine models to further delight their customers, including a 15-foot T-Rex or life-sized Lion, Tiger or Horse, in addition to a play table for hands-on fun in-store.
Beyond branding, product, and life sized displays, flagship partners are supported with a comprehensive communication plan, including public relations, social media and marketing. Early sales results from the retail partners participating in the program have exceeded expectations, with all reporting sales increases resulting directly from the new format.
“Schleich skyrocketed to our No. 1 performing brand this weekend,” says Scott Mazerall, owner of Maziply in Kingston, Mass.
“Schleich sales have increased 50 percent over last year and a reorder is imminent,” says Daniel Janoska and Keith Schumacker of Talbots Toyland in San Mateo. “Schleich has been our No. 1 brand for animal figures since the start and I don’t ever see that changing.”
“In the two weeks since our display was installed, Schleich sales have doubled from the previous two weeks,” says Jill Wahlquist of Tom’s Toys in Beverly Hills, Calif. Tom’s Toys is also hosting a contest—both in-store and on social media—to name its display Tiger. The winner will receive Schleich’s best-selling Croco Jungle Research Station playset from its Wild Life collection. In addition to the life-sized Tiger, Tom’s Toys has a full-scale Horse model in its store window to attract shoppers’ attention.
Schleich expects similar contests being held by other flagship retailers to attract consumer interest and repeat visits. The toymaker will continue to add more stores to this nationwide initiative.