With your new showroom in Nuremberg, you have moved into an architectural gem. The Milchhof Palaisis regarded as a prime example of New Objectivity and is a recognised classic of modernity. Anything to add to that?
We are extraordinarily fond of Nuremberg, the location and the building! The Milchhof Palais is a creative and inspiring place, and is a perfect fit for Carletto.
The fact that Carletto's German branch is located in Nuremberg is certainly one reason for opening the showroom in Nuremberg. What else speaks in favour of the Nuremberg location?
Nuremberg is the Toy City! This is where the toy industry meets – not only at the Spielwarenmesse, but throughout the year, too. We're amazed at how many visitors we've already welcomed to our new location.
In the middle of last year, your cooperation with the American company Ty Inc. came to an end. Carletto made the brand one of the leading suppliers of branded plush toys in the German-speaking countries. How have you been able to close this gap in your portfolio?
The unexpected and unilateral termination of the distribution contract triggered massive changes. Carletto Deutschland had to completely reposition and realign itself. Carletto continues to represent great brands and successfully markets its own brands, all of which are developing brilliantly.
In recent years, Carletto has built up strong brands of its own in many assortments. Does this create conflicts with the manufacturers that Carletto represents?
No, we pay attention to balance and the focus that's required. Our own brands are intended to close any gaps in our portfolio.
Carletto is positioned globally. With Carletto Asia Ltd and the free on board (FOB) business, you can react to crises at short notice – but also pick up on trends. Could you please tell us how large the share of FOB business as part of your total turnover is?
The share is significant and important for the Carletto Group. However, Carletto Asia Ltd doesn't only serve Germany, but is also active on other markets.
The brick-and-mortar toy trade is being severely affected by coronavirus worldwide. Do manufacturers have to consider new distribution models – beyond online shops?
The current situation is challenging all market participants, whether online or conventional shops. Digitalisation has to be reflected in all processes and is a key competence for all trading models. Brick-and-mortar shops have many more options than just the obvious route to online retailing. We see a wealth of creative and amazingly smart models for successfully marketing toys. Manufacturers have to recognise, support and operate these models.
As an internationally networked toy expert, what trends do you see with regard to new products?
The "nesting", "DIY" and "rural" megatrends should also be reflected in retailers' products, offers and services. The toy industry can serve these trends really well, and a lot of product categories and products themselves can benefit particularly well from them. Analogue play experiences and meaningful leisure activities are, therefore, particularly popular with consumers.