Steve Richardson of SJR Associates, UK distributor for Dolu, details plans for the company’s new factory which is opening in 2021, and tells us how this will enhance Dolu’s offering going forward.
Ria & Steve Richardson
olu’s toy factory, established in 1975 in Istanbul, Turkey, is counting down the days to its move to a new, modern facility in 2021. The first phase of production will be up and running in January 2021, with additional machines ordered to support the growth in capacity that the new facility will offer. The plan is to have all existing machines and offices moved into the new facility by July 2021. The new factory is located close to the Bulgarian border, situated on the main route to Europe with easy access to the main ports. The closed area will measure 55,000 square metres in total, which includes brand new offices and a purpose built 1,000 square metre showroom. This makes the capacity of the new factory five times greater than the current production facility. With significantly increased capacity, the company plans to expand its product offering across both its toys and baby ranges. Last year, Dolu was awarded the title of ‘Largest
Toy Exporter in Turkey’, and it anticipates that productivity will be increased even further by the new factory. In addition, the company will be integrating state-of-the-art, environmentally sustainable technologies into the brand-new facility, including the latest solar energy power solutions, which will result in it being one of the lowest emission factories in the whole of the toy industry. Speaking exclusively to Toy World about the new factory, Steve Richardson of SJR Associates, UK distributor for Dolu, commented: “Due to the increased demand for Dolu products this year, we have pushed ahead with the building and development of our new factory in Istanbul. We are looking forward to seeing the first phase opening for production in January 2021, and also to seeing our new permanent showroom in action. Alongside the growth and expansion of our production facilities, we plan to broaden our range of toys and baby products, while we are also working on options for sustainable products, set to launch in 2021. “It was while we were at the Toy Fair in Nuremburg this year that Wuhan initially went into lockdown. Our entire range is manufactured in Turkey, so our goods were not affected by the shutdown. As a result, we saw demand grow from that point, as buyers were looking for alternatives to Chinese manufactured ranges. We pride ourselves on having highly competitive pricing, coupled with the high quality associated with European-manufactured products. We also benefit from shorter lead times than goods coming from the Far East, and all without the MOQs required by most Far East factories. “As well as opportunities, the pandemic still
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presented us with some major challenges. As a team, we worked tirelessly in the spring to assess the potential increased demand for our goods: we then created a focused list of products, which saw around 60 key lines (from a SKU count of around 180 items) being prioritised in production to allow continuous supply. “Turkey had its own covid-related issues: we battled against local restrictions, which saw a complete lockdown, with people not being able to leave their homes for any reason for days at a time. Nevertheless, we adapted to reduced working hours in the factory, putting stringent measures in place to curb the spread, including rigorous testing for staff. We also liaised directly with freight forwarders and shipping lines – the entire team put in a huge amount of time and effort to make sure we could fulfil the additional demand that we had seen. “Thankfully, the many hours of planning were all worthwhile - we have been able to meet the demand throughout this year, and we’re confident that the new facility will give us even greater capacity in 2021. Clear winners for us in 2021 were the outdoor items, including slides, playhouses, tractors, ride-ons and sand & water tables. It was also encouraging to see demand continue for these items long beyond the summer season into the autumn winter period, and we are confident that many of these lines will sell well in the run-up to Christmas. That will set us up for an exciting year in 2021.” For more details on Dolu’s 2021 range, please contact UK representatives Steve and Ria Richardson of SJR Associates on 07850779797 or 07877443733, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.