Former Tesco's buyer Dawn Lavalette joins the "eminently scalable" Wow! Stuff as new commercial director

Wow Stuff has seen 50 per cent so far this year as it sees an stark uptake in its newly created Demonstration Division, now headed up by Jon Birch.
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The former head of buying at Tesco for toys in the UK and central Europe, Dawn Lavalette, has joined the Wow! Stuff team as commercial director.

In her new role, Lavalette will oversee global sales and major UK and international customers, as well as implement new systems to help the firm’s products reach more retailers across the globe.

“I knew the minute I met Richard North, Wow Stuff’s CEO that this is where I wanted to be,” she said.

‘The breadth of its pop-culture toy innovations is beyond anything I have ever seen before. The excitement and the ability of the co-founders, as well as the people they have attracted to the business, has ensured the culture is one of warmth, passion and drive.

“This business is eminently scalable and the opportunity to be part of the growth, as a shareholder in the company, was too good an opportunity to miss.”

As the Wow Stuff team continues to grow and strengthen, Jon Birch, sales director and shareholder, has been promoted to managing director and the Demonstration Division.

Birch said: “I am excited to be expanding the Demonstration Division internationally. This is a skill set unique to our business that now requires a focus of its own. Sales have increased 20-fold in every location where we have rolled out our demo programme, and it delivers more sales per square foot of retail space than any other business driver, including TV advertising.

“We will be measured with our partnerships, but I still invite retailers to contact me about working with us. Our Science Museum patented Mystery UFO is perhaps what we are best known for, however, we have a dozen Demo lines that remain best sellers in stores where Demo Artists operate.

“We also have plenty of new products in the pipeline that will absolutely blow the minds of our demo retailers’ customers.”

Simon Gardner, Wow Stuff’s chairman, former CMO of Hasbro, concluded: “We have seen a near 50 per cent growth in the business so far during 2018 and it’s our resolute focus on building a world class leadership team which has made this possible.

“I am confident that Jon’s promotion and Dawn’s recruitment, as well as the appointment of Alice Yung as director of sales APAC earlier this year, will aid Richard in his vision to make the business a first-class global operation.” 

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