Schools driving Artstraws success

"We work very hard on the school side, constantly amending our range to suit what the schools are looking for," says firm.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Schools driving Artstraws success 600x300px.jpg

Arts and crafts firm, Artstraws has enjoyed a positive 2014, largely thanks to the school market.

Around 60 per cent of the company’s turnover goes in to the school market, as Artstraws supplies the companies that supply schools with equipment. The other 40 per cent goes in to the retail market.

“2014 has been strong because it’s been very good on the school side,” Artstraws, MD Roger Russell told ToyNews. “We work very hard on the school side, constantly amending our range to suit what the schools are looking for.

“We have been around a long time in the school market, but the schools used to know us for Artstraws alone. Now they know us for our arts and craft range and our Play & Discover range.

“It’s very rewarding to know that children are using our products to help them right the way through the curriculum. When they are using artstraws or pipe cleaners in art classes, it helps little kids become more dextrous and have fine motor control, which helps them learn to write.”

The firm has also had a good year when it comes to awards with its Play & Discover range.

Its Play People was awarded a Gold by Practical Pre-School magazine, while its Pipe Pieces with Wheels was awarded a Silver by Primary Teacher Update.

Russell added: “We are extremely chuffed with the awards. If you think of pipe cleaners and feathers, we try to give good service, good prices and good quality product, but none of that is ever going to win an award. So, with our Play & Discover range winning an award, we were really pleased with that.”

On the retail side, Artstraws has found greater success with the independents and believes some of the larger toy retailers are missing out by avoiding arts and crafts lines.

Russell said: “We do well with independent toy retailers but we don’t do anything with the likes of The Entertainer and Smyths. Back in the late 90s, we supplied big stores like Tesco, Boots and Woolworths but they were always after something new, so we opted out of all of that.

“There are groups out there that are missing a trick because the margin you can make on our product is really good. The independents are aware of that and know that it works. The products are consumable so the customer comes back for more.”

Artsraws will be introducing new products at London Toy Fair in January.

Related

3411_mypictr_300x300.jpg

SECTOR GUIDE: Pre-school

In our second focus on the pre-school sector in 2011, manufacturers are now looking ahead to big new launches and extensions of existing ranges for next year. ToyNews highlights what?s on offer?

5_VTECH 1.jpg

Too cool for school

Tough times for retail mean products with added value are key to keeping sales up. Science and educational toys are ideal and appeal to parents and kids alike with emphasis on learning through play. ToyNews takes a look at what's available...

BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL: Too cool for school?

Do pens, pencils, rulers, rubbers and notebooks have a place in toy shops or should they leave it to the stationery stores? ToyNews asks four indies for their view on whether it’s worth looking at back to school.

Featured Jobs

Vivid Job Logo 620 x 349

Digital Marketing Executive - Toys & Games

Vivid is Britain’s biggest toy company and the 20 largest in the world. With offices across the globe, they sell an amazing portfolio of toys and games to over 60 countries. Vivid is best known for its association with blockbuster brands and is very excited about future opportunities around the world.

Liberty

UK Sales Agents

Liberty House Toys have been appointed as the exclusive UK distributor for the BiOBUDDi brand, and we are pleased to introduce this new unique, innovative and exciting range of 100% environmentally-friendly toy building blocks. We are seeking experienced sales agents with existing network in the toy retail market.

Gameplan Job Logo 620 x 349

Head of Product Development & Marketing

Our client is a privately owned French toy and games manufacturer which sells through distributors in forty countries. The company develops and sells innovative electronic interactive toys and games for the educational and gaming markets, and also takes suitable licenses. To progress its successful business development a Head of Product Development & Marketing is to to recruited.

HIT Entertainment Job Logo 620 x 349

Licensing Systems Administrator

The Contract System Coordinator is a newly created role to support the deal term entry process into Mattel’s new Contract Management System for its Licensing business. The role will support the Business Teams at the Deal & Amendment phase of the contracting process and act in conjunction with the System Administration team.