So what started this exclusive partnership?
“CHOMPER has really proven to be a leader in their category,” said Jessica Farina-Morris, director of marketing at Phillips. “They are very innovative, they are in tune to what consumers want as far as the latest trends and also in tune to what is important for retailers to make retailers successful in the toy category so for us, it was a no-brainer to partner with them.”
“They really know toys,” she said. “It makes it so easy when you partner with a vendor who is so passionate about their category. It’s easy to get behind for the retailers as well as us because CHOMPER is dedicated to that pet specialty channel. And that’s what Phillips is all about so we just reinforce each other’s vision.”
According to Farina-Morris, retailers are not only looking for a toy line that can remain fresh and innovative, they also want a toy line that will give them a good margin.
“With Phillips being the lead distributor, it made sense for us to be able to partner and deliver that type of vendor to our retailers,” she said. “We want to bring retailers that type of vendor.”
Menno Kloppers, president of CHOMPER, feels the same way.
“CHOMPER’s design and manufacturing capabilities fit well within Phillips’ distribution vision for expansion and overall industry expertise,” he said.
With the toy category being so vast, it can sometimes be overwhelming for a retailer to try to pick out which toy line to bring in and why.
“The CHOMPER line really does cover everything from squeaky toys to rope toys and they have all those different categories covered so it’s easy because the retailer can just look at one catalog and pick out all those different options and still have a full assortment,” said Farina-Morris.
Once the decision to partner with Phillips was made, CHOMPER began planning.
“Weekly meetings took place between the Phillips and CHOMPER teams to select the product mix, design the brochure, plan tradeshows and set the timing for distribution,” said Kloppers. “The two companies invested significant time and resources over many months and the result is a program built for success as the partnership moved into the New Year.”
Phillips began ordering toys and placing them throughout their warehouses. Phillips then started marketing to get the word out to the retailers.
Education is important when it comes to marketing dog toys.
“Our sales team, both outside and inside, is educating the customer about the new line and what is has to offer,” said Farina-Morris.
The partnership is going well thus far.
“The partnership has been fantastic,” said Farina-Morris. “The team at CHOMPER are fantastic to work with so it makes it easy.”
“The CHOMPER and Phillips team is moving forward very well after a long and productive implementation period,” said Kloppers. “The CHOMPER product line is carried at the Phillips distribution facilities throughout the country so everything is in place for increased distribution.”
There are lots of plans for 2015 including buying shows with CHOMPER in attendance.
“We do a number of buying shows each year and CHOMPER will be there with a booth,” said Farina-Morris. “CHOMPER is also participating in the industry shows, Global and SuperZoo where they are prominently placed near the Phillips booth so that we can easily walk customers over back and forth and show them all of the toys.”
There will also be the first ever Phillips West Coast buying show in March. The show will take place in Napa, Calif.
“CHOMPER will be there for the first time in the West Coast,” said Farina-Morris.
There will also be a New England show in March.
“Both those shows are in the first quarter so we are able to debut that new assortment,” she said.
Upcoming shows aren’t the only thing on the 2015 schedule.
“There are always new toys coming out,” said Farina-Morris. “We always have a new assortment that we review with the CHOMPER team and pick out the toys that we want to debut throughout the year. We will be rolling out some toys at Global this year that will be new to the assortment.”
CHOMPER is very busy after the partnership.
The companies are looking to build off the success of the toy launch with lines of other pet products including beds and crates,” said Kloppers. “CHOMPER’s design and manufacturing capabilities fit well within Phillips’ distribution vision for expansion and overall industry expertise.”
CHOMPER is also getting ready for Global Pet Expo which is only a month away.
“APPA Global Pet Expo is just weeks away and the teams are busy preparing for what will be a very rewarding show for the partnership. “