2016 Year in Review
Just returned from our annual trip to the toy fair in Hong Kong. On my way to Hong Kong, with a 4 hour layover in Vancouver followed by an 8 hour maintenance delay, I had plenty of time to contemplate this past year. Here is a list of my top four highlights from 2016:
Highlight #1 - Warehouse & Showroom Grand Opening
Without a doubt, my biggest highlight from last year was the opening of our new warehouse in Brampton. Over 140 retailers, suppliers, friends, and family attended our two day event. It started with a ribbon cutting with the mayor of Brampton, followed by speakers, warehouse tours, and a dinner.
Not only did we celebrate our new warehouse, it was also our 20th anniversary. It seems hard to believe that it was 20 years ago that the first Canadian Trivia game was released. Time flies when you are having fun!
Many thanks to all those suppliers and retailers who travelled from across Canada and the United States to attend, including a large contingent of retailers from British Columbia.
Highlight #2 - Revenue Growth
Our sales grew over 25% this past year. While not as high as the 30% growth we experienced the previous year, it sure was exciting to see continued growth. The market for board games and puzzles didn’t grow by 25%, which indicates we outperformed the industry average. What is especially nice about last year’s growth was it came from all areas of our business - domestic and international, games and puzzles, and licensed and non-licensed games.
Highlight #3 - Image Selection
Every year there always seems to be one puzzle that sells much better than all the other images. Back in 2015 it was Nancy Drew. The previous year it was Adirondack Birds. But 2016 was different. There wasn’t one puzzle that was a run-away top seller. Last year’s image selection was so exciting because, for the first time, EVERY SINGLE new image broke the 1000 unit mark in sales. That means we had no stinkers - and with over 60 new images, that is pretty incredible!
Highlight #4 - ChiTAG
I had never attended the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) before. As a company that historically avoided licensing games from outside inventors, we never found the need to attend. But now that we have started licensing more games, we decided to check it out. The event was fantastic! It is a great venue for inventors and publishers to connect. The enthusiasm from game inventors was exciting, and socializing with your industry peers always leads to interesting conversations. It reminded me why I got into this industry 20 years ago. We will certainly be back next year.
Looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring!