Online retailer XBite on the High Street, new websites and why it's set for a big year of growth

Robert Hutchins

By Robert Hutchins

February 22nd 2016 at 11:07AM
UPDATED February 22nd 2016 at 12:00PM
Online retailer XBite on the High Street, new websites and why it's set for a big year of growth

The £30m a year online toy retailer is eyeing increased growth for 2016 with a raft of new targeted websites in the pipeline.

Online toy, videogame and collectables retailer XBite is eyeing a year of increased growth, thanks to a raft of new targeted websites.

The retail brand has kicked off 2016 with the launch of its new destination for toy buyers, Shop4Toys offering what it believes is a more personalised experience for consumers.

The launch of the new platform follows a year of ‘encouraging growth’ for the retailer as it outlines its plans to see continued growth in a ‘very competitive market’ with targeted investment in a raft of new sites that will aim to deliver to its core audiences.

We caught up with XBite’s senior buyer, Karla Mitchell about the latest developments for the online retailer:

How will the new Shop4Toys platform position you guys for 2016?

Shop4Toys allows us to specifically target an already existing an growing audience that we haven’t been able to give much time to over the years due to the dominance of video games.

Are you expecting 2016 to be a big year of growth for you?

We have seen very encouraging growth in 2015 and we plan to increase the rate of growth through 2016 by adding in websites such as this one where we can focus more on the more targeted products and customers.

Competition in the toy market is fierce and there are a number of brands that you could say dominate the vertical, but they don’t have as much online experience as XBite and that holds us in good stead.

What does the new platform deliver to consumers?

A cleaner user journey with targeted products and promotions. Our main UK site has a brilliant and varied range of products intended for a wide range of tastes. Shop4toys allows us to narrow down these preferences and offer a more personalised experience.

How have you seen the company evolve over the last decade?

A decade ago XBite was only just starting up. From our MD’s first venture from his own home cleaning discs and selling them on ebay we now operate a £30m business that has very encouraging growth.

Diversification has been a key objective for the company over the last three years. We have increased the number of products we offer, the number of categories we list and the way in which we get these products in front of people. It’s been a very exciting number of years.

What’s the next move for you guys in the online space?

We have more targeted micro sites in our view and we plan to invest a lot of time into these. Whether they are targeted to specific categories, specific areas or specific types of people. We have some big plans.

More and more, online retailers are making the move to the High Street, is this on the radar for you?

We have plenty to work on right now and don’t want to shift our focus. They have always been on our radar and we have considered bricks and mortar stores many times before but right now the positives don’t outweigh the negatives and it seems to be the wrong step for us at this time.

What are you setting out to achieve by this time next year?

We want to continue to diversify and buck the downwards trend that a lot of retailers in our industry are suffering from. Certain cateogories are naturally declining with the evolution of the marketplace and we are ahead of the curve n that respect.

We need to keep our eye on the ball and make sure we evolve and innovate. You will see a lot of that in the coming months with our new projects.