Saturday, July 5, 2008

Steiff learns lesson, is moving production back to Germany

Steiff, who claim they develop the first plush bear with movable arms and legs, decided
to move about one fifth of it's production to China about five years ago. They wanted to try to bring down the cost of the traditionally very expensive plush toys. The cost-cutting moves worked, pushing the price of $31-$47 range. But, as explained in this article in the London Financial Times, they've recently decided to bring production back to Germany, where they can exercise better control over their products and how they get them.

“We have learnt our products are better if we make them ourselves,” says Martin Frechen, co-chief executive of the firm in Giengen, Baden-W├╝rttemberg.

“The things we wanted to be done were not the things the Chinese were used to doing.” He stresses that Steiff never had the problems with safety standards that some US importers have struggled with. “Things were also fine in terms of quality,” he says. “But when we looked at whether this was sustainable, big question marks arose.”

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