BigJigs respond to cutting Internet only supply

BigJigs ToysFollowing our post about toy manufacturers cutting supply to ecommerce merchants, George from BigJigs has been in touch. Whilst we’re not wholly in favour of everything he had to say, we think it only fair that he should have a chance to respond to our thoughts.

George also had some interesting things to add, such as every sale on the BigJigs consumer website is actually fulfilled by their bricks and mortar retailers. The order is offered to the retailer closest to where the customer lives. That might be somewhat unusual for the Internet, but it does mean that a customer receives their order, not from some big conglomerate, but from a local, often in independent toy shop. It’s one of the ways BigJigs aim to help their bricks and mortar customers.

Some of what George has to say won’t be welcome, especially for those retailers who’ve just had their accounts closed. Read what BigJigs had to say though, we’re pretty sure they won’t be the last manufacturer to start rationalising the retailers they choose to supply.

Here’s what George had to say

I have just been alerted to your article regarding ‘Toy manufacturers cut supply to marketplaces’. I would just like to point out a few mistakes in your post.

Since the company formed 27 years ago, Bigjigs Toys have always championed and supported independent toy retailers who have bricks and mortar shops. The vast majority of our business is conducted through these high street retailers and therefore we want to continue to support them. In an age where austerity meets a shift in purchasing behaviours, many of our high street retailers have found trading conditions difficult, partly due to consumers being able to find the same products but cheaper on third party selling sites. Not only does this damage the high street and the independent toy industry, but it also devalues our brand. As our brand continues to grow, if we continue to allow third party retailers to sell at such low prices and not portray our brand correctly then consumers will perceive our products to be of lower value and of lesser quality than they actually are. We have taken the decision to safeguard our market leading brand which has absorbed substantial amounts of money in design and development over the years.

As purchasing behaviour evolves, it is important for brands to be highly visible and readily available at the touch of a button. To ensure that our brand presence is maintained, we will be offering our products for sale ourselves but at the full suggested recommended retail price. There is no getting around the fact that consumers use these 3rd party selling websites, and so it’s important for our brand to be present on these sites but in a way that supports all involved with Bigjigs Toys. We are never going to be able to make people buy everything in store, some people simply choose to by online becuase they are too far from a toy shop or do not have time to go into store, this we cannot stop. What we can stop is the process where by a retailer spends money getting customers into their store, only for that customer to then search on a 3rd party site for the product and find it cheaper. In the first 3 weeks of our new policy we have seen a great response from indies up and down the country, some have seen more sales in store and some have seen more sales on their own websites. This is just what we hoped to see, hopefully in the lead up to Christmas as more customers have left these since when their stock has sold through the effect will be even better.

So if you had done a little research then you would notice that our consumers can still purchase from the likes of Amazon and eBay. They can also purchase off our consumer facing website which is fulfilled by our high street retailers.

If you would like to discuss this matter please do not hesitate to call. I look forward to you amending the article accordingly.