Intertoys abandons many innovative plans that the previous owner Green Swan had in store for the toy stores. Now that the chain is back at the Blokker group, it is all about one thing and that is selling “fun and cool” toys. “We are not an amusement park”, says the new director Eddy Assies in conversation with the ANP.
Intertoys has had a difficult period. After a bankruptcy in the spring, there was a restart with almost half of the stores closed. Investor Green Swan from Portugal then suggested ‘freaky zones’ for adults in stores and arranging clowns.
“But they forgot one thing and that is putting toys in the stores. I don’t know what went wrong but things were almost empty,” says Assies, who took over last month when Blokker owner Michiel Witteveen decided to take over the chain .
More affordable toy line
In the past, Intertoys had been in the hands of Blokker Holding for years, which was recently renamed Mirage Retail Group. All around 250 suppliers have now been boarded and the stores have been filled again. “By treating the suppliers with respect, we were able to restore the tires.”
Assies – who jokingly calls himself the toy boss – believes that running a toy chain comes down to having the most popular toys on the shelves. That way Intertoys can offer something that discounters don’t have, he says. He is also working on setting up his own more affordable toy line.
“For example, people don’t want to pay too much for a block box, a wooden train and cars.”
The director, who has been working in the industry for years, further believes in upholding traditions. For example, on Saturday Intertoys is again publishing a new toy book, with which children can draw up wish lists for the holidays. “You create a wish list by cutting everything out.”
Intertoys now has 205 stores, 80 of which are franchise stores. Next week another new store will be opened in Terneuzen, but much extra growth is not to be expected according to Assies. “We are actually all over the Netherlands now. At first, Intertoys had far too many stores.” Incidentally, closures are no longer necessary, the director assures. He expects to close this year profitably.
Maurice Esma, a co-founder of EconomicInform is a freelance journalist with the expertise in international finance and corporate rights. The author can be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org