Due to the steadily declining number of retailers, the games manufacturer Ravensburger has planned its own stores to offer potential customers a shopping experience. This is only one part of Ravensburger’s growth strategy.

The toy manufacturer is reacting to the extinction of the retail trade by planning its own shops in shopping centres, outlet centres, airports or in small towns without its own toy trade. CFO Hanspeter Mürle told the “Welt am Sonntag”: “20 to 25 new stores are conceivable in the coming years”.

Salesroom and playroom

According to the CFO, the aim is to make the Ravensburger brand a tangible experience for consumers. Mürle imagines the shops as a mixture of a salesroom and a playroom. The manufacturer wants to be in close contact with its customers in order to gain inspiration for new products and further developments.

The largest German manufacturer of board games and puzzles has already gained experience with its own stores. At the end of 2018, Ravensburger owned nine stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Most of them can be found in outlets where the goods are sold at high discounts. The family business is planning the additional branches with a turnover of almost 500 million euros at locations in Austria and abroad.

Death of dealers in the toy market

Recently, the toy retail trade had experienced a slump in sales and shop closures. The insolvencies of chains such as Toys “R” Us, La Grande Récré and Top-Toy depressed sales worldwide. The Dutch retailer Intertoys had to close 23 stores in Germany. In addition, the death of the owner-managed businesses is continuing. “The concentration in retail is increasing,” Mürle told the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”. The Ravensburg CFO thus referred to the mergers of Kaufhof and Karstadt and the booksellers Thalia and Mayersche, which also carry toys in their product ranges. They could reduce the number of their stores.

Changes in consumer buying and usage behavior

Ravensburg’s sales markets are changing, consumers are changing their purchasing and user behaviour, the concentration in the international trade landscape is continuing. For this reason, Ravensburger initiated a strategic reorientation three years ago.

Ravensburger is currently transforming both sales and the supply chain, which previously existed separately for toys, books and brands, into cross-product and cross-brand organisations.


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Link: Ravensburger with its own shops.

Image: Ravensburger