In the memory of those who were children in the 80’s and 90’s, there are 3 places where dreams of having the most desired or fashionable toy were fulfilled: Ansaldo, Otto Kraus and Rochet. Today only the first toy store is still in force and today it narrates the keys to its business.
Ansaldo and its slogan “It’s another Ansaldo”, Otto Kraus with its sticky jingle and Rochetknown as “The toy castle”, competed in the 80’s and 90’s in the children’s market in Chile, selling the most desired by children: toys.
Even Village -which returned in 2018 12 years after its bankruptcy- was part of that career, since in addition to obituaries, parcel items and cards, its windows also displayed stuffed animals and barbies.
But what happened on the way? Only Ansaldo survived. -in fact it is celebrating its 120th anniversary- and along the way the business had to adjust to the times. To its physical stores it added an online sales system on its website, recently adding items for pets.
Rochet and Otto Kraus, meanwhile, fell by the wayside.
Although the company started in 1902 as an emporium of groceries, preserves and other foods, the family from Italy began to expand its business units: it began to sell kitchenware, and even they brought the first Toyota cars to the country.
Then, between 1978 and 1980, they ventured into the field with which they would achieve the greatest recognition by starting with the import of toysbecoming known by the brand match boxwhich remained in the memory of many children of the time who hallucinated with the electric tracks or little cars.
“A friend of the family was the representative of Matchbox toys and he gave us that right. That was the brand that made us known throughout the country and our commercials remained in the collective memory of the children of that time. ‘It’s another from Ansaldo’is still in the retina of many”, says Claudio Ansaldo, manager of development and marketing of the company.
Currently in the company work Luis Ansaldo, general manager; María Gabriela Ansaldo, finance manager; Claudio Ansaldo, development and marketing manager -members of the second and third generation- and Sebastián Jerez Ansaldo, the last to join the company, and who is in charge of control and management and technology, representing the fourth generation of Ansaldo .
“If we take the examples of Otto Kraus and Rochet, each of these companies had a predominant factor that led them to fall by the wayside”part relating Claudio Ansaldo, when consulted by BioBioChile about who were their competitors in the market.
For him, the current validity of the toy store lies in “the will and interest” of the family and collaborators with the business as “an element that allows the continuity of the company over time.”
“In the case of Otto Kraus, the sons of the founder had no interest in continuing the business and operations ceased. In addition, having an orderly and efficient administration is an important part of the business. Without it, many companies fall by the wayside, like what happened to Rochet, which went bankrupt basically due to administrative mismanagement,” he adds.
In the midst of the digital age -and with children who have changed hand in hand with that- Ansaldo highlights the “ability to adapt” and “quality of service” as essential.
“Without a doubt, it has been fundamental to love what we do, the affection for a job well done, to understand that we want the company to transcend hand in hand with the family and the collaborators who have passed through the company and who have been fundamental in generating the sense of belonging”express.
Present and future of the business
Currently, the company has nine stores and plans to open the tenth in Quilpué before the end of the year.
In addition, they operate their distribution channel where they sell to the main commercial stores in the country, they market with sales to companies for dates such as Christmas, for gifts for the children of workers and enhance their online sales channel through their site. Web.
In 2019, the company partnered with the American company Build-A-Bear and in recent months included the pet line.
“We are starting to offer pet productsit is a bet so we hope that it will be well accepted by the public”, concludes Claudio Ansaldo.
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