By John Smith • 15 November 2019 • 16:30
PONIENTE BEACH: Well-kept promenades are one of Benidorm’s principal assets
Photo credit: Benidorm town hall
THE friendly giraffe known as Geoffrey will forever be associated with the Toys’R’Us business which went into terminal decline in the USA.
Although the 16 foot statue of Dr G Raffe, as he was originally known, has moved to a children’s hospital in New Jersey, the Spanish arm of the business has made a remarkable recovery.
It was purchased just over a year ago by a Portuguese investment fund and is now expecting to break even in 2019 with a turnover of €160 million.
The business already has a market share in the toy world of 15 per cent and is battling to wrest second place from Juguettos whilst the market is still dominated by El Corte Inglés.
The company plans to open at least five new stores every year and is updating stock in a number of its stores in order to offer a more experimental choice to customers as well as beefing up its online presence.
Other ideas include the sharing of buildings in out of town locations which it owns but which are too large for the business and also a possible franchise arrangement with new independent companies.
Traditionally, it has always operated from large stores of up to 1,800 square metres but it is also considering scaling new openings down to around 600 square metres full of the top selling toys.
Another string to its bow is the Babies’R’Us brand, which it plans to expand within the Iberian market.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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