• Pamela Brill

ASTRA Education: Toy and Game Companies Competing in an Amazon World

PHILADELPHIA, PA. – At last week’s American Specialty Toy Retailers Association’s 2017 Marketplace & Academy, KidStuff Public Relations president Lisa Orman conducted a presentation on the topic “How Toy & Game Companies Can Compete in an Amazon World.” While “companies” was intended to refer to both retailers and manufacturers, several retailers contacted both ASTRA and Orman before the show regarding their concern over promoting Amazon and demonstrating the subject’s sensitivity among ASTRA members.

Lisa OrmanLisa Orman, shown here with Esther Novis of The Young Scientists Club, recently gave a talk on how toy and game companies can compete in an Amazon world.


In fact, in preparation for her presentation, Orman interviewed more than one dozen ASTRA retail members who also have an Amazon storefront to illustrate how they are managing their online presences. With approximately 100 in attendance, she shared how these ASTRA members are using Amazon to bolster their overall revenue which, in turn, helps them maintain quality brick-and-mortar stores. Orman also pointed out how the online component of these retailers’ businesses lets them place broader orders from ASTRA manufacturer members, as they can only sell a limited assortment and type of merchandise to their in-store customers.

Toys manufacturers that Orman contacted for the presentation shared the tools they use for protecting their prices and brands, their policies against third parties or selling directly to Amazon, policing rogue third-party sellers and how they respond to negative reviews on their products.

Orman also shared a business update on Amazon’s history and its current growth and acquisitions. “My feeling is it’s better to know more about what Amazon is doing and to understand best practices by ASTRA members than to be angry that Amazon exists and how it’s ruining people’s lives,” she said. “We can’t change that it’s here to stay and getting bigger all the time, so we need to understand where the many opportunities lie for independent local retailers both in their stores and if they choose, on Amazon with a storefront, and how they can work together with ASTRA manufacturers to continue to create the unique merchandise, which is the No. 1 reason 93 percent of customers prefer independent local stores.”

Pamela BrillPamela Brill | Editor-at-Large, Gifts and Decorative Accessories

Pamela Brill, the proud mother of two young daughters, has been writing about parenting and children's products for over a decade. Before she began her freelance writing career, she served at the helm of two industry publications: Small World, which specialized in baby products, and Playthings, which is now part of Gifts & Decorative Accessories. She is currently an Editor-at-Large for Gifts & Decorative Accessories. Her previous blog postings can be viewed at www.talkingwalnut.com

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