Be on the lookout for a 15-foot-tall Tyrannosaurus rex in a toy store near you.
Schleich USA Inc., the German toy company that has its U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, is expanding by adding 150- to 250-square-foot Schleich shops inside toy stores. The first three locations are at stores in Beverly Hills and San Mateo, both in California, and in Kingston, Massachusetts, located outside Boston.
Oliver Krause-Huckleberry, head of North American marketing at Schleich, says the goal is to open those shops in 25 toy stores by year-end. It's obvious that Krause-Huckleberry is excited about the rollout.
"Our specially designed flagship stores provide consumers with the full Schleich toy and brand experience, from our beautiful figurines and feature-rich playsets to life-sized animal models and more," he says.
The latest shop for Schleich opened earlier this month at ABC & Toy Zone in Rochester, Minnesota. We don't have word yet when Schleich will return "home" and open in a Charlotte-area toy store.
Schleich got the idea from the success found at a pop-up store it placed inside SouthPark mall last Christmas season. The 15-foot-tall T. rex was in that display.
Early reports from the shop owners who are part of Schleich's new strategy say the concept may work. "In the two weeks since our display was installed, Schleich sales have doubled from the previous two weeks," Jill Wahlquist of Tom's Toys in Beverly Hills told Schleich.
The Charlotte Business Journal first wrote about Schleich in Charlotte in 2016 as it was staffing up for an effort to grow its market share in the United States. Michael Keaton, Schleich USA president, noted then that the company enjoyed a 55% market share in Europe compared with a 13% share in U.S.