Set up in 1998 by Tom Boardman and Michael Acton Smith, online retailer Firebox is now celebrating its 15th birthday.
The site has evolved from having a boys’ toys portfolio to a weird and wonderful mix of products, and it’s a progression the firm wants to continue.
“We want to find the coolest, hardest to find, most exclusive and shareable things you can buy,” Firebox managing director Kristian Bromley told ToyNews.
“Earlier this year we undertook an extensive rebrand of the site in order to evolve from our ‘boys toys’ history to a more eclectic range of products, so we’ll be looking to develop that further into the New Year.
“At all times, we want to talk about, find and sell the coolest things you can buy and we will not stop in our mission. Here’s to 2014.”
In the last decade, Firebox has seen smartphones and tablets become an increasingly important sector for the business.
“Children’s toys and fads often burn bright and fast, so staying a few steps ahead is always important,” continued Bromley.
“With the rise of smartphones and tablets, the toy industry is being squeezed on all sides, so it’s vital to be innovative.
“Gone are the days of buying deep and long and hoping for the best. We don’t want to have to put our products on sale because of poor forecasting. We’re tight, clever and constantly learning.”
Bromley believes the biggest challenge for Firebox has been to remain unique, but the company isn’t phased by the recent increase in online retailers specialising in selling ‘quirky gifts’.
“We don’t want to be like anyone else, we want to be a ‘category of one’,” continued Bromley.
“Taking risks, developing our voice and unearthing cool things that customers want to share and talk about must be the core focus for us every day.
“Without naming other sites out there, I don’t see them as competition or a concern. We focus on staying true to the Firebox way. We can’t worry about what others are doing, or if they’re copying us, as it’s not something we can control.
“There are a lot of cool product blogs we have relationships with but not a ‘shop’ as such that we would fear.”