Wizard of Oz as Marvin’s Magic heads Down Under
A magic tricks and products company based in Hertfordshire is conjuring export success in Australia with the help of UK Trade & Investment.
Marvin’s Magic is widely recognised as the brand leader for magic worldwide. Its range of magic tricks and products for children have won many awards and are listed amongst the best sellers for major UK High Street multiples and independents, including Hamleys.
Founded by Marvin Berglas, a magician and entrepreneur, the company contacted UKTI in 2012 for advice on finding their best route to market in Australia and the strategy could bring sales of more than $1 million next year.
After UKTI paved the way, the company began working initially with two major Australian store groups, Australian Geographic and David Jones, through which they secured orders totalling $360,000 in 2012/13.
The customer base in Australia is expanding rapidly and the company is now working with Myer and Kidstuff, again both major players within the toy industry. Sales for 2014 are estimated to reach $1m with a sales forecast for 2015/16 in excess of that figure again.
The company is now targeting Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines and India and has just received £2,500 of funding from UKTI that will enable the business to attend an Indian toy industry trade show.
International sales manager Rakesh Kakaya explains: “From our own online research we knew there was a buoyant market for our products in Australia and that the spend-per-child there was high. However, as Australia is so far away and an unknown territory for us, we felt we needed advice from UKTI on how to target the country effectively in order to minimise the risk.
“From the focus groups we learnt that, in Australia, magic is seen as educational, the perception being that it increases confidence in children; parents were therefore very receptive to our products.”• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Rakesh Kakaya