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Buggy business phil&teds sets its sights on world juvenile products market domination

Listen to Idealog digital editor Ben Mack speak with phil&teds CEO Campbell Gower about the recent success his company has had in Europe:

Chief executive Campbell Gower says expanding into a new office in Malaga, Spain is only natural for the company, since it has seen a dramatic rise in European sales. “The past three years have shown us that with the right product investment and retail partnerships, significant change can occur.”

From 2013 to 2015, phil&teds’ brand Mountain Buggy grew 22 percent in Europe in terms of sales. “Before its acquisition, Mountain Buggy’s products were disappearing from European stores,” he explains.

Last year, the company was awarded three Red Dot design awards. The German contest is one of the most renowned design competitions in the world. Gower says the company is well-placed to expand further in Europe with its Spanish base of operations. “It was always our plan to build a sales, marketing and service hub in this part of the world,” he says. “With multiple new roles to fill to resource our growth, we aim for a stronger presence on the ground and in the market. This perfectly positions our company to increase its European market share, and drive growth for the business.”

Campbell Gower.

The new office will include a training facility where customers can interact with sales staff and products from both brands. “Being on the edge of the world with a tiny local market emphasises the need to have regional offices. Hiring locals, makes us local and we also gain important insights into what works, what’s the same and what’s different – on a global scale.”

And, he admits, the success of the company has somewhat surprised him. “It’s very cool – and a little bit weird for a boy from Te Awamutu – to go there and hear every kind of language spoken servicing our customers in Europe.”

In September, the company showcased its brands at the trade fair Kind + Jugend. More than 22,000 visitors from 112 countries took part in the three-day event, during which the company secured orders in excess of $1.5 million.

“It’s exciting,” says Gower. “We’re a small company based out of Wellington, New Zealand trying to conquer the world.”

And Spain, he insists, is just the start. “Our new hub in Spain can only fuel that.”

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