Back home. From 2022, the production of giant soft toys from Shok Id will no longer be done in China but directly in France. Only raw materials will remain sourced in Asia, because “it is difficult to do otherwise”, explains Jerome Duchemin, founder of the company created in 2016.
Specializing in toys, it manufactures under license for actors such as Disney Parks and the Compagnie des Alpes, owner of Parc Astérix, Walibi parks and Futuroscope. Shok Id is also developing its own brand, Piou-Piou and Wonders.
Relocate to regain control
This relocation strategy is motivated by several factors: the desire to produce in France for a long time, but also to regain control over the value chain. Because since the start of the health crisis, logistics have become greatly complicated.
“Until now, the tariffs offered by China in terms of transport and cost of the finished product have been the only way for us to be competitive. But the price of containers has increased tenfold and the deadlines have grown enormously, ”notes the manager, who has therefore moved closer to NP Creation, a manufacturer based in Sarthe, to relocate the production of its giant soft toys. “It was not easy, because the French industrial fabric in the toy is almost destroyed. But thanks to word of mouth, we found this courageous manufacturer who knew how to keep his workshops in France. “
Production in France should start in summer 2022 to be ready the following Christmas. Shok Id hopes to repatriate most of the production steps, namely shaping, padding, filling, finishing, sewing, labeling, cartoning and delivery. “For the customer, this will translate into at least equivalent, if not better, product quality and a still affordable price. This is the whole point and the reason why we cannot completely relocate production. “
For the moment, only the production of giant soft toys is affected by the relocation. “The furniture will continue to be made in Vietnam and our soft toys under 50 cm in China. We have calculated that from a certain size of the products, the China was no longer becoming so attractive on the cost of transport and labor, but not yet below this threshold. So it was the only way to remain attractive to the end consumer in terms of price. “
Focus on Piou-Piou and Merveilles
With the health crisis, Shok Id also became aware of the urgent need to refocus on its own brand. “When we started out, the license helped us consolidate our know-how and secure our cash flow. Gradually, we are doing less, for reasons of will and also very high costs, ”says Jérôme Duchemin. While the license may have accounted for up to 80% of the company’s turnover, it now only represents 30%.
“The crisis has played its part: with the closures of amusement parks, we discovered that we were very dependent on global tourism, without realizing it. Overnight, orders stopped. This represented half of our turnover, so we had to bounce back, ”continues the manager.
While in 2020 Shok Id achieved 3.5 million euros in turnover, its revenue fell to 2.3 million euros in 2021. The company also had to part with part of its staff and now only has 5 employees in France and as much in its office in China, responsible for checking the quality of the shipment of goods and the sourcing.