Licenced toymaker unwraps Christmas sales with investment
A Telford, UK toymaker is boosting its Christmas sales, thanks to an additional £750,000 of working capital funding facilities from Lloyds Bank to help it meet strong seasonal demand.
Golden Bear Products designs and manufactures toys and games for both children and adults. It employs 56 staff in Telford and 10 in Hong Kong to manage its supply chain sourced mainly from the Far East. The business sells its products to major UK retailers and supermarkets, as well as globally to over 55 countries worldwide.
The business experiences exceptionally high levels of seasonal demand for its products, with 40% of its sales forecast for the final quarter of 2023. This trend is even stronger for its expanding games portfolio, with this busy trading period compressed into the five weeks preceding Christmas, with families buying them to be enjoyed over the holidays. This prompted the business to approach Lloyds Bank for support with its investment plans and working capital needs to help maximise its sales opportunities over the winter.
Traditionally, Golden Bear Products has made licenced products for children’s television programmes, which remains a core priority and strength. However, as part of a strategic initiative to grow the business, both in the UK and across the world, it has recently diversified into developing its own intellectual property (IP) for toys and games. The financial package from Lloyds Bank will help the toymaker fund the investment in product development and consumer research required to bring its new products to market.
The £19 million turnover business hopes the investment will help it drive 10% growth next year, and has more ambitious plans for the future.
Lloyds Bank will also support Golden Bear Products with foreign currency transactions, helping the business to mitigate the commercial risk of trading in foreign currency. This will support the business in its international expansion plans, where it hopes it could see exponential growth of 20-30% for its own IP products.
Barry Hughes, managing director of Golden Bear Products, said: “The nature of our products mean we can see huge spikes in demand, making it crucial that we have the financial headroom to respond to these trends. For example, our new Soccer Bot was featured in a viral TikTok video, which got over 4.3million views on the platform and saw it rank number one game on both Amazon and Argos. Likewise, we’ve partnered with YouTubers The Sidemen and Hot House games as UK distributors for their new adult game, Hit Send, driving high demand for Christmas.
“We’ve worked with Lloyds Bank since 2011, when we were chosen to produce the plush mascot for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. They supported us through this period of sudden high demand, and have been by our side since, helping us both day-to-day and during seasonal peaks. We have a strong relationship with the team and are confident they understand our products and market.”
Charlotte Turton, relationship director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Golden Bear Products is developing an exciting portfolio of games – but these are traditionally a later purchase at Christmas and can be dramatically impacted by social media trends over the season, meaning the business needs to have the right funding facilities in place to manage this. We’re proud to help them capitalise on this opportunity and prosper.
“The business has also seen its retailers become more cautious amidst a challenging economic climate, switching from buying in bulk from overseas, to ordering smaller quantities more often from the UK. To fulfil these orders, we’ve helped Golden Bear Products become more agile in its cashflow management, which will set it in good stead to drive growth into the future.”