Retailers, consumers and prices
LeapFrog CEO’s mea culpa
Since U.S. President Barack Obama has begun owning up to his mistakes, the top dogs at some U.S. companies are giving mea culpas a try.
Take LeapFrog Enterprises’ Chief Executive Jeff Katz, for example.
In an interview with Reuters, Katz admitted that the toymaker had not been fast enough or deep enough with its discounts in the fourth quarter, which included the holiday sales season. The result? LeapFrog posted a 24-percent drop in quarterly sales and a wider loss for the period.
“That was really a miscall that we didn’t appreciate,” Katz said, adding that the company should have recognized early on, close to October, that consumers would only buy items that were heavily discounted.
Katz said the extremely frugal nature of shoppers had blown a hole through the theory that parents will hesitate to cut back on toys for children, and that the toy sector was resilient to economic downturns such as the current one.
“The great wisdom of the toy industry has certainly failed me this year,” said Katz.
Parents were also starting to recycle toys by handing down certain ones from older children to younger ones, he said.
So what does a small-cap company do when times are tough?
LeapFrog seems to have its plan chalked out: price products attractively, cut costs where possible and position itself for better times with new products.