The FINANCIAL -- Children’s toy store chain in Georgia ‘XS Toys’ is going to launch an online store this year, where customers will be able to buy all their top quality toys online. Giorgi Benashvili, Sales and Marketing Manager at XS Toys, believes that the new online store will make it easier for customers to access the full range on offer at XS Toys.
“We also plan to open new stores in Georgia in the future,” said Benashvili.
As of today there are five XS Toys stores located in the key shopping centres in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi and one store in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi.
XS Toys offers top quality products, presenting them in a friendly and modern environment designed and developed in-house. Particular attention is given to the TV and online content-based characters and exclusive XS Toys product lines. Over 20,000 sorts of toys are sold at XS Toys stores.
There are six branches of XS Toys in Georgia, of which five are in the capital Tbilisi and one in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi. Tbilisi’s branches are located in Tbilisi Mall shopping centre (on the second floor); shopping gallery Merani at 42, Rustaveli Ave (third floor); City Mall shopping centre at 1, Kavtaradze Str (second floor); East Point shopping centre (first floor); and Galleria Tbilisi shopping centre (fourth floor). In Batumi XS Toys is located on Era Square at the crossroads of Gamsakhurdia and Abashidze streets.
As Benashvili says, the constructor sets and different types of intellectual toys are very popular at XS Toys. Also, customers often go for movie and cartoon character-themed products, he said.
“Our toys are aimed at a range of ages, from babies to adults; but mainly from birth to 15 years old. Last year sales of our toys increased by 30 percent compared to 2016,” he said.
The company’s combination of marketing investments, service quality, and its wide, up-to-date assortment presented in the most positive and joyful environment,were positively valued by the over 100 Golden Brand experts and customers involved in the judging process.
“After five years of operations on the Georgian market our company has received a Golden Brand award and became the number one toy store chain in the country. This is a huge honour for our company. Winning this nomination means that customers trust us, are loyal to us, and recognise the quality of XS Toys. This award proves that the company has been correctly developing in Georgia,” said Benashvili.
XS Toys is run by Anvol, a private company established in 1995 in Tallinn, Estonia. The company operates across the Baltic Sea region and in Georgia.
The company’s representatives constantly monitor the dynamic market of toys, keeping their eyes open for new opportunities. XS Toys often participates in world leading exhibitions where its marketing team does its best to come up with fresh and creative ideas to further promote the XS Toys brand.
From the very beginning the company has been focusing on providing quality toys and children’s goods from the world’s most renowned suppliers. XS Toys has a solid portfolio of distribution brands available for its clients in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland and Georgia.
The main suppliers of XS Toys are Hasbro, Moose, Spinmaster, MGA, Trefl and Artsana.
Q. XS Toys has about 50 stores in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Kaliningrad region of Russia and Georgia. How developed is the Georgian market compared to these other markets?
A. Compared to other markets the Georgian market is small and, thus far, not regulated. As of now, the share of branded, licensed toys is small compared to the sheer number of fake and poor quality products. According to our estimates, in the near future consumers will soon make the switch in favour of quality products, consequently the share of branded, licensed toys on the market will increase.
We can safely say that the entrance and active operation of our company on the Georgian market has brought new, modern and European standards to it. Local players of Georgia’s toy market have been forced to change their standards of work to try to compete with us.
I think that in the coming years the quality of Georgia’s toy market will improve and grow.
The state as well as the business community should jointly think about which mechanisms could enable the creation of a safe and high quality toy market in Georgia.
Q. Which countries do you import your toys from?
A. We import toys from different EU countries. All of them have official licenses and are in compliance with the security norms of the EU. Before our products enter the Georgian market they go through tough procedures in the EU.
Q. Producing Toys is becoming more and more popular in Georgia and more companies are getting involved in this business. What would you say about local production, how many quality and international standard toys are produced in Georgia?
A. Producing toys is quite a difficult, responsible, labour-intensive sphere. As I have already mentioned, the toys that are sold in our network are tested in various leading European laboratories which is indicated by the signs and holograms printed on the packaging. This also shows that the production meets EU and international standards.
Our head office in Estonia delivers the products to the XS Toys branches in different countries only after making sure the products meet all of the above-mentioned criteria.
Toys produced in Georgia hardly meet these criteria.
Q. What are Georgian customers’ priorities when choosing which toys to buy?
A. When choosing a specific toy, Georgian customers are always interested in quality and price as well. Our customers recognise that quality and price are in full accordance at our stores. It is clear that you cannot buy a product of the highest quality yet expect to get it at the cheapest price. It is clear too that the highest quality and safest product cannot be cheap.
Recently Georgian customers have started to make more of a choice for original products that are produced by official manufacturers compared to fake ones which are cheaper.
The large assortment in our stores enables us to provide for all segments. Taking into account the fact that we are officially cooperating with all leading toy manufacturer companies and represent them as a partner organisation, retail pricing is set within the recommended retail-consumer pricing policy. The modern world’s toy industry is so global in terms of the retail price component that our pricing policy is practically identical, and tailored to customers.