“It is not necessary to have an actual Discount Barcode Card when shopping at XS Toys stores. It’s enough to just have a photo of it on your phone and a cashier will scan the product without any problem. This system has helped us to minimize the issue of card loss or missing cards, and accordingly, the recovery-related challenges,” said Giorgi Benashvili, Sales and Marketing Manager at XS Toys.
XS Toys is famous on the Georgian market for its top quality products presented in a friendly and modern environment. This is a leading toy store chain and children’s products wholesale retailer that has been operating in Europe for more than 20 years.
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.
From the very beginning the company has focused 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.
When recalling the time that XS Toys first opened in Georgia, Benashvili says that there were no multi-brand toy stores in the country at the time.
“Moreover, there were no toy stores in Georgia that could meet European standards and could offer constantly updated and trendy product ranges. Step by step we have opened XS Toys stores in the country and today we are represented by a total of six stores in Georgia,” said Benashvili.
All XS Toys stores are located in key shopping centres in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi with one store in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi.
“We have opened our latest and sixth store at the Galleria Tbilisi shopping centre which is located in the very centre of Tbilisi. The location of the branches is based on statistics, research and competent people’s recommendations. This year we plan to expand our network of stores to the Saburtalo district of Tbilisi. Also, the XS Toys store located in Tbilisi Mall shopping centre has changed floor and is now open on the third floor of the centre with a renewed interior and design concept,” said Benashvili.
Benashvili said that so far XS Toys management does not plan to enter new towns in Georgia, but expansion of the existing stores is planned to continue till the end of the year “so that our diverse range of products can be fully presented and visible to all our customers.”
As of today XS Toys offers over 25,000 sorts of toys and children’s products on the Georgian market. XS Toys products 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 2017.
“XS Toys are associated with innovations and novelties. Our company participates in global, large-scale exhibitions where we are introduced to the latest trends in the toy industry and renew the assortment of our stores in accordance with these trends,” Benashvili said.
“We can say that in our stores, Georgian customers have the opportunity to buy practically the same as all the trendy toys that are being sold in Europe, in the United States or elsewhere in the world,” he added.
Benashvili said that there is a “promising trend” in Georgia of parents trying to promote their children’s mental, intellectual, physical or imaginative development by using toys instead of digital equipment such as mobile phones, computers and different kinds of applications.
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 2,000 surveyed customers involved in the judging process. This year XS Toys received a Golden Brand award for the second time in a row.
Q. How competitive and fast-growing is the market in Georgia?
A. Compared to other countries the Georgian market currently is quite small and unregulated. At the moment, the share of branded, licensed toys is less than non-regular and poor quality products. Growth of the total volume of the market is low.
According to our estimates, the majority of consumers are increasingly making the choice in favour of branded, licensed toys, therefore the share of such quality products will increase on the market.
We can safely say that the entrance of our company onto the Georgian market and our active operations have brought new, modern and European standards here. Local players of the toy market have been forced to change their working standards in order to try to be conceptually similar to us.
The state, along with businesses, should jointly plan how to create a safe and quality toy market in Georgia. Planned regulation on quality control should be activated. This is the foremost factor for the market that will ensure that only the best companies remain and only high quality products are offered to customers.
Q. What is the market share of XS Toys and how does the company keep up with its competitors?
A. According to last year’s data, we hold about 40-45% of the branded, licensed and original toys market.
As for the competition, overall, market development depends on healthy and diverse competition. With its high quality and customer-oriented approach, XS Toys freely competes with any other companies on the market.
Q. Congratulations on winning a Golden Brand award. This was the second Golden Brand win for XS Toys. In your opinion, what led XS Toys to this success?
A. In its six years of operations on the Georgian market our company has now received its second Golden Brand and the title of No1 brand in Georgia. This is a big honour for us. Winning this nomination proves customers’ loyalty, trust and recognition, and most importantly – raises awareness of quality toys among people. This award proves that our company has been developing in a correct way in Georgia.