Online toy wholesaler World Trading 23 has used the success of its strong and varied product line to expand into more independent retail and chain stores across the country, as well as retail locations of its own. Founded a decade ago, the company started small, buying and selling a few toys on eBay and other auction sites before expanding the product line in earnest in 2004, buoyed by the success of the sale of their line of mini-helicopters. In 2008, World Trading 23 purchased HobbyTron.com, merging the two companies and pursuing efforts to have the firm's merchandise sold in chain stores such as Toys"R"Us.
Run by the Kouyoumijian family from the beginning (father Jacques Kouyoumijian is CFO and sons Kev and Vic are CEO and president), World Trading 23 continues to expand its line of remote control cars, mini-helicopters, boats, planes, airsoft guns, trucks, tanks, and construction vehicles, maintaining a huge supply of merchandise out of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in California. World Trading 23 revamped its website a year ago, the first major redesign in ten years, launching in October 2010 with improved navigation, more support and tools for users, and other enhancements. Perhaps the most important aspect of the revamped website was internal, as it fully integrated the site with the company's accounting program, automatically updating inventory for an accurate measurement of real time availability of products.
The expansion of the site and the business has allowed the company's rapid growth to continue, and World Trading 23 is looking into new arenas to further the company brand, a focus that resulted with the opening of their own stores this year. "The impact of the new website is that we've been able to get our products in front of a lot of new customers," Kev Kouyoumijian says. "This year, we will actually be expanding into our own retail stores and opening up two by the end of the year, and for 2012 we have a plan to grow into 20 stores throughout the United States. The stores are going to be called AirSoft and Hobby World, and will be a division of our retail side of the business."
The first store opened on November 1 in Valencia, CA. "We're really excited about the new stores," Kouyoumijian says. "Soon, we're going to be in malls. We recently made a deal with Westfield, and they are going to help us grow into at least 50 stores in the next two to three years. We also have regular superstores where we sell air-soft guns. The superstores have full shooting ranges, where people can test out the items before they purchase them."
Having stores of its own will not deter World Trading 23 from continuing to pursue sales with both big box stores and independent retailers. "We are trying to get into more chain stores. Our chain store line is World Tech Toys, and we're trying to brand that into a bigger company and make it known as a remote-control airplane, helicopter, and car line. Companies like Sony and Samsung have name brands, and we're trying to make World Tech Toys into a name brand that everybody knows." On the wholesale side, World Trading 23 is trying to get into more hobby shops and online sites, and have additional mom and pop retail stores recognize and carry the line. Currently, the company's merchandise is being sold on over 100 websites, with more than 600 accounts.
World Trading 23 has always been proactive when it comes to advertising, using both television and social media sites as a way to reach and connect with customers. The company does promotions on Facebook and Twitter, has newsletters announcing new products and sales, and has a Daily Deal on the website offering heavily discounted prices. In addition, HobbyTron's YouTube page features nearly 200 videos showing the company's products in action.
This success has allowed World Trading 23 to put out more licensed material. "We just did a licensing deal with West Coast Customs," Kouyoumijian says. "Our product is going to be on TV in season three of the show. We're doing a full car line with them, taking the actual cars they make and fix up for celebrities, and creating remote control cars from them. The show is going to air in June and July of 2012, so that is when our hit date is, but we have already started molding the cars." The deal with West Coast Customs is the latest in a line of licensed material that World Trading 23 has produced. The company produced a line of Fast and the Furious cars to coincide with the release of the fifth movie in the series this June, and creates RC cars of brands including Mustang, Nissan, and Toyota, among others.
World Trading is constantly selling new products, recently releasing new helicopters that include an attached full color camera, allowing the user to take pictures, record, and control the volume. In the end, World Trading 23 thrives by staying ahead of the competition. "It all comes from having the latest technology in our products, being ahead of the game, making sure we have the newest and most exciting products, getting the right licenses, and making sure the right people are in the right places," notes Kouyoumijian.
For more information:
World Trading 23
24700 Avenue Rockefeller
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
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