Thierry Bourret leaves Asobi

The founder and MD of the UK toy wholesaler leaves to pursue new opportunities and develop the Slow Toy Movement.
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Founder and managing director of Asobi, Thierry Bourret, has stepped down from his role with the company.

After six years at the helm of the UK toy wholesaler, Bourret announced his decision at the end of December 2014, revealing his plans to explore new commercial opportunities.

These will include further developing the growing popularity of his Slow Toy Movement.

Bourret founded Asobi in 2008 after a successful fist career with Hitacho Europe Ltd where he was European operations manager.

A bilingual entrepreneur, he utilised his sales and purchasing experience to found and grow Asobi in a multi-million pound company and in late 2013, Bourret recruited a team to develop trading relationships with retailers including John Lewis, Amazon, Hobbycraft, Hamleys, Harrods and Selfridges.

Toys R Us, Boots, Argos and Tesco were added as new retailers in 2014.

In December last year, Bourret was nominated by Progressive Gifts and Home magazine as one of 30 most influential people in the UK gift industry.

“I set up Asobi from scratch,” said Bourret.

“Six years on, we are distributing products from ten different companies, including French brands such as Vilac, Petitcollin and Jeujura.

“I personally have developed Asobi’s own product range and sourced manufacturers in China and I have overseen every aspect of the production, promotion and distribution process.

“I am delighted with the speed with which Asobi has grown and proud we are now a recognised supplier to the UK’s toy and gifts industries.”

In 2011, Bourret founded the Slow Toy Movement, an annual award ceremony that has been hosted by Selfridges, Harrods and John Lewis and emphasises the importance of toys that ignite the imagination and inspire creativity.

2015 will see Bourret seek and explore opportunities to expand the global reach of the movement, as well as deploying his passion and experience in new projects.



INTERVIEW: A year to remember for Asobi

A range of new distribution deals, more brands in its portfolio and some upcoming top secret launches have helped make 2013 a year to remember for Asobi. ToyNews talks to the company's founder, Thierry Bourret.

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