Hawkin’s Bazaar sees sales soar as heavyweight brands lead new direction

Star Wars, Suicide Squad and Harry Potter are helping retailer Hawkin’s Bazaar fuel some positive sales figures this year.

The retailer has revealed to ToyNews that since it put its plans to shift focus from wooden and traditional toys to gifts, gadgets and movie tie-in lines into action, like for like sales for the year have increased 12 per cent.

An active repositioning of the store was put in place in the weeks and months that followed the complete buyout of the retailer by its parent company Tobar at the start of the year.

The move to introduce more licensed lines, according to the retailer’s chief executive, David Mordecai, was part of its wider plans to create two very separate identities for its Tobar and Hawkin’s Bazaar operations.

“This has been a huge success for us,” said Mordecai. 

“We introduced gadgets and licensed products with Star Wars as one of the biggest of the year.

“The reaction to this move has been really positive, from the staff who think it is great to see something more relevant to customers and secondly, well, the proof is in the pudding in terms of the customers.”

With a fleet of 30 stores across the UK, Hawkin’s Bazaar now finds itself in a position to start talking about plans for expansion up and down the country with ten pop-up stores planned to open.

“We will probably keep a couple of these open as permanent stores going forward,” continued Mordecai. “It’s a good way to test a town to see how well it trades.”

While Mordecai admits that the retailer still has some way to go with its UK operations before it considers international expansion, talk of opening ten additional stores this year comes as a striking change of attitude from a firm that only narrowly avoided folding back in 2011.

Credit for the retail group’s turnaround can be handed to the leadership change of focus for the store offering that since moving away from toy only retail to gifts and licensed lines has seen sales spike throughout the year.

“Movie related lines have become big business for us and we are now seeing success throughout the year,” explained Mordecai. 

A statement year for the retailer, Hawkin’s Bazaar’s 2016 product offering is one that has been curated gradually over the months to ensure it is ready to deliver on the seasonal shopping period at the end of the year.

“Drones will be a key line for us this Christmas and year overall. It’s also fair to say that the Brexit hasn’t thrown us off our plans,” he concluded.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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