September 10 2018  |  Technology

eKids builds travel retail distribution and promises exciting developments for 2019

By Mary Jane Pittilla

eKids offers lots of licensed products such as these Minnie Mouse headphones

Headphones are the top-selling item for eKids in travel retail

US children’s electronics brand eKids has reported new listings with major travel retailers in the Gulf region.

The company offers a range of licensed products including headphones, walkie-talkies, boom boxes, and speakers.

It has opened locations across Europe and the Middle East, working with retailers such as Lagardère Travel Retail, Dufry Jordan, Qatar Duty Free and Bahrain Duty Free.

eKids, a division of leading US consumer electronics company iHome, has set up a European headquarters based in Lisbon, Portugal, to service and expand this business.

“It’s been a challenging year, but we’re really pleased with the results so far,” said eKids Key Account Manager Gabriella Nogueira. “We’ve proved that the travel retail market can work as a profitable channel within our global business and our investment into developing the sector is paying off. Our activity is increasingly focused on serving global travel retail and we are now actively researching and developing exclusive products for the marketplace.”

In Europe, e-Kids can be found in Lagardère’s Travel Essentials, Duty Free, Virgin and Tech2Go shops. Sales in the region – as well as in the Middle East – are said to be “well beyond our expectations”, said Nogueira.

“Our focus now is to continue developing business in Europe and the Middle East, but also to push on into the Asia Pacific region,” she said. “Meanwhile business back in our home Americas region is also continuing to expand and grow, particularly with Dufry Duty Free and Hudson Group, where results are fantastic."

eKids has a portfolio of international licenses including Frozen, Disney Princess, Moana, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Star Wars, and SpiderMan.

This year has seen eKids add Nickelodeon studio brands such as Paw Patrol and Jojo Siwa, which can now be found on eKids products.

For 2019, eKids has signed new licenses for Fingerlings, Smooshy Mushy, Rainbow Rangers, Dragons 3, and Top Wings, while the company is also launching a completely new range of products for many of the Disney, Marvel and Lucas film properties, such as Toy Story, Frozen, Aladdin, Lion King, plus the latest Marvel movie and last of the Star Wars trilogy.

“2019 is going to be a huge year,” continued Nogueira. “Frozen 2 is scheduled to be released for the festive holiday season, which gives us an amazing opportunity for product development, while blockbusters such as The Lion King, Aladdin, Toy Story and Dumbo are all expected for a re-make or continuation movie. So, get ready for 2019; it will be an amazing year for Disney licensed products and eKids.”

For inflight, the company offers compact items ideal for the cart such as earbuds, small sculpted Bluetooth speakers, flash drives, and power banks.

“The children’s electronics sector offers masses of opportunity for travel retail; the age range appeal is wide, the range is ideal for both sexes; and the pricing is competitive,” continued Nogueira.

“Headphones remain our top-selling item, but we offer an expanding selection of other products such as earbuds, walkie talkies, MP3 microphones, interactive toys, boom boxes and Bluetooth speakers, USB flash drives and power banks.

“What’s clear is that where retailers add eKids to their mix, the sales results are excellent, providing incremental sales and adding to the store profitability.

“eKids is constantly innovating and developing; keeping up with trends and the ‘in’ characters and themes, so retailers can be sure of always offering products that are right for the marketplace,” Nogueira concluded.

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