Our Generation sales rock John Crane Ltd

Values oat $600 million in the US, sales of the doll range are set to account for 30 per cent of the firm's turnover this year..
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Sales of Our Generation dolls have been so strong since launch that the range could be its own business, John Crane Ltd.’s MD Jonathan Thorpe has told ToyNews.

The range, valued at around $600 million in the US, has been credited by the toy distributor as accounting for a projected 30 per cent of its turnover for the year.

Such is the demand for the doll and accessories collection from some of the UK’s biggest toy retailers that John Crane Ltd has already made early predictions that Our Generation will be a big seller this Christmas.

Previously, Hamleys has seen sales of Our Generation dolls and accessories reach £30,000 a year, but following the installation of an Our Generation concession within its flagship London store, it is now expected to shift up to £500,000 by the end of 2015.

“Our Generation will be about 30 per cent of our turnover this year,” Thorpe told ToyNews. “But the secret is, it’s not just about the dolls. For every doll you sell, you sell five accessories.”

The key to selling the range is as a lifestyle range, Thorpe stated. Thanks to a number of large orders on the firm’s Our Generation line of dolls and accessories, pre-school brand Tidlo and evergreen products such as the B-Range, John Crane is expecting to end the year 15 per cent over target.

“We have more than doubled the business in three years,” continued Thorpe, who took the helm at John Crane four years ago. 

“We have had to overhaul the business and refocus where we sell product. We have to follow where the consumer goes to buy toys.”

With a restructured focus for the firm, now looking outside of the wooden toy sector, Thorpe has outlined his plans for John Crane Ltd. to become a major player in the evolving industry.

Thorpe added: “We work on three year plans and we know where we intend to be by the end of those. By the end of 2017, I want to be doing £14m to £16m turnover, and I want us to be a significant player.

“I don’t want us to be a Hasbro or a Mattel, but certainly one of the better medium players.”

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