GERMANY: Steiff brings back manufacturing

German plush maker Steiff says quality issues have forced it to bring production back from China.
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The firm says it plans to move production back from China to Germany because poor standards there left some of its stuffed toys in a sorry state.

"If one of the glass eyes is even a millimetre off, it means the adorable devoted look on the teddy bear's face ends up looking more like some kind of a stupid stare," managing director Martin Frechen was quoted as saying.

He added that the company had found it difficult during four years in China to maintain the quality of its expensive stuffed animals, toys and dolls because of high staff turnover.

"We had to keep training new people all the time, especially lately," Frechen said. "More and more of the products were rejects."

He said producing toys in China had appeared to make economic sense at first but turned out to be more costly, especially when logistics and a three-month shipping time to Germamy were added to the calculation.

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