How COVID-19 Has Impacted PlanToys
A New Way of Connecting
Nearly every company in the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social distancing measures and public mandates have catalyzed change like we've never seen before! However, here at PlanToys, we're embracing these changes fully and are choosing to look for the positive in each adjustment and adaptation. Today, both our sales channels and lifestyles are online - challenging our company communication styles internally and with customers. Although operations look a bit different than before, we're finding that these online channels are encouraging us to communicate more intentionally and creatively.
When we're separated physically from one another, we don't take communication for granted as easily. Don't you agree? We take better care of one another and check-in more often; and we are sure to engage with distributors, partners and retailers on a regular basis to maintain close relationship and offer support when needed. Even though communication and interaction are mostly digital, it is all still just as meaningful.
While adjusting to these new virtual ways of connecting, PlanToys developed a few creative tools for customers and retailers in an effort to support sales and company growth. Recently, PlanToysUSA created custom promotional codes for retailers. When the codes are promoted and used, retailers earn commission via the PlanToys website. Additionally, Instagram Live sessions with retailers and partners are building community and brand awareness on social media.
The "Retailer Spotlight" by PlanToysUSA
Rudy Valenta, Sales and Marketing Manager at PlanToysUSA, has invited USA retailers to share their small business with us all via a monthly "Retailer Spotlight" segment in our newsletter. Through homemade videos and social media, these shop owners tell their stories and talk about why they choose PlanToys for their shelves.
"The idea behind these spotlights is that we, PlanToys, our sales reps, distributors and retailers are all a family who support sustainable play and help our community of families nurture Better Kids, Better World," Rudy said.
"Because we are supporting the same mission, I thought it would be nice to share what our retailers are doing to be sustainable; how they are helping their local communities; and what proiects they are working on as well. We all support Sustainable Play in our own ways. By sharing what we are doing individually, I believe that we can learn from each other to create a strong network of idea sharing around the world between our PlanToys family.”
Below, you'll find a sample of our "Retailer Spotlight" from the store manager at Aldea Home & Baby Carmen Cortes. They have two locations: Culver City, CA and San Francisco. Another video is from Donna Grocott at Huckleberry Playthings (BC Playthings) in North Vancouver, Canada. Take a look! We are happy and excited to share their stories!
Aldea Home & Baby
Virtual 2020 Mid-year Products Presentation
Although we are not currently traveling to fairs, we have maintained connection with retailers and partners via social media and virtual platforms! Recently, Alain De Rauw, PlanToys' International Sales Director, presented our new mid-year 2020 products via Zoom and garnered great feedback and participation worldwide. The success of this online presentation showed us that there is always an opportunity to adapt - finding new ways to connect, continue business and build relationships despite external circumstances. Thank you to all of you who participated! Together, we are creating Better Kids, Better World.
Sharing the New Opportunity
PlanToys Library Launch
The Forest of Play Museum in Bangkok is closed due to the pandemic. However, we're still committed to creating opportunities for children to learn through play! In an effort to adapt to the worldwide COVID-19 situation, we launched the PlanToys Toy Library project in both Trang and Bangkok. This online platform offers families the chance to rent, borrow and share PlanToys items instead of purchasing new toys or discarding out grownones.
All toys are thoroughly cleaned with food-grade sanitizers and examined for wear and tear after each borrowing - ensuring child safety. It's our Sustainable Way in action!
The PlanToys Toy Library has launched in both Trang and Bangkok - offering families the chance to rent and borrow our toys instead of purchasing as a sustainable method of play. Many parents have expressed their interest in this online platform already and have signed up to be library members! All toys are thoroughly cleaned and examined for wear and tear after each borrowing, and food-grade sanitizers are used before and after lending to ensure child safety. Moving forward, we hope to add even more toys to the platform so additional families and children can enjoy different categories of play. We're grateful for the support you all have shown in the initial launch and are excited to continue building upon this sustainable play method!
"Tu Pun Sook", The Happiness Sharing Cabinets
As the COVID-19 situation continues to take precedence in the world, we are committed to doing our part to up lift our employees, partners and surrounding communities. Plan Group subsidiaries are joining together to set up a "Tu Pun Sook" (Happiness Sharing Cabinet in front of Plan House's building on Soi 10, Sathon Road to share dried and canned foods with individuals and families affected by COVID-19. In the meantime, at the PlanToys factory in Trang, our employees set up a "Tu Pun Sook" in front of the cooperative shop. Furthermore, PlanToys Founder Vitool Virapornsawan and his family have also provided fruits and branches of vegetables to employees for replanting and harvesting at home. These small acts of service are our way of supporting our employees at this time. We believe that the act of sharing can make our society a better place during a difficult time. We extend our moral support to everyone and want to remind you all that we will get through this together.
New Sustainable Living at PlanToys
At PlanToys, we are well aware of the importance behind taking care of yourself and maintaining good hygiene during COVID-19. In light of this, we created various activities to nourish the bodies and minds of our employees - including rice planting, vegetable cultivation and gardening for consumption of clean and nutritious foods. Last year, our organic rice cultivation area measured 41,600 square meters; and this year, we've expanded to 48,000 square meters! Employees have unlimited access to rice and are able to harvest whenever needed. This helps raise awareness around the value of resources within our community while also supporting sustainable living through a shared cultivation space.
Additionally, we recently invested in the Good Food Good Health Project to introduce healthy and delicious menus to PlanToys employees. Aside from eating healthy at home, we're encouraging employees to prioritize daily movement through the project's Fit Firm Burn Fat Program as well. Although healthy eating isvital to overall well-being, maintaining a healthy body requires daily movement and mindful living practices as well! By supporting our employees in their health, we know that we can play a role in their happiness; and ultimately, that's what we care about most. Happy employees lead to happy families and children, which result in a happier, healthier world!
Forest of Play, the New Inspiration for Play Spaces
Sansiri X PlanToys
The Forest of Play, our well-known exhibition in Thailand, is a magnet for many companies and both profit and non-profit organizations. Recently, Thailand's leading developer of quality homes, townhomes and condominiums, Sansiri, approached us about building a unique play space for children. Sansiri highly values the PlanToys brand and is confident that we will help their customers understand the importance of learning, growing and developing through play experiences at their sales office and clubhouse.
Our first project, Anasiri: Lagom, is being developed under the concept of "Lifestyle - not too little, not too much, just right," We are building play spaces in 7 different locations throughout Bangkok, with expected completion by the year 2023. The unique design of each play area will be specific to its location, and each space will be endorsed by Samitivej Hospital, one of the top five hospitals inThailand - to guarantee safety and the potential for child development. We are so excited about this project with Sansiri and are eager to see how these unique play spaces help PlanToys' brand awareness expand across Thailand.