Simba Toys India, one of the 26 subsidiaries of German toys manufacturer Simba Dickie Group, is planning to up its ante in the Indian toys industry by opening around 27 standalone stores in the country by the end of this December, according to Shree Narayan Sabharwal, business head (India). The over $800-million company had entered the Indian toys retailing space in 2011 through the master franchisee route in tie-up with Exelixi Management Company. It runs 17 stores across the country, including three in Bangalore and one in Chennai, besides an outlet at the Mumbai domestic airport.
The company markets over 6,500 stock-keeping units in India with the price ranging from Rs 99 to Rs 80,000. “We have already identified over 40 cities in India that we want to enter in Phase-I, including Hyderabad, Trichy, Coimbatore, Kochi and Mysore, with each outlet consisting of a carpet area of around 1,000 sft. Our idea is to have around 100 stores in the country by the end of the 2014 calendar,” he said. Stating that the Indian toys market was currently pegged at Rs 3,000 crore with the organised sector accounting for Rs 600 crore of this, Sabharwal said the industry, which grew at a healthy rate of 18-20 per cent until last year, was now growing at only 12-15 per cent owing to the macro-economic environment. On the back of scaling up its retail presence, coupled with the ongoing talks with animation companies for India-specific properties for merchandising, he said Simba was planning to grow by close to 50 per cent in India for the next couple of years.