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Dodo Pad – the future: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

Dodo Pad is transforming the way we do business to secure our future after seeing our profits hit heavily by increasing High Street retail demands and huge online discounts that have been out of our control.

Cover-image-Jan-2015

Our much loved brand has been around for 50 years now and we’re clamping down on the range being sold through Amazon and eBay at hugely discounted prices and we will no longer sell our diaries in John Lewis stores – which has been a flagship retail partner for 20 years.

Instead, we will regain control of distribution and concentrate on selling our products through our own website www.dodopad.com where we are able to offer our direct customers the best discounts and deals. We will continue to sell a selection of the range in branches of Waterstones and WH Smith and will only sell on Amazon and eBay through our own official channels.

Why are we doing this? Well, volume sales have maintained a steady increase year-on-year overall but, despite this, we’ve been hit financially due to an increasing attack on our already tight margins by big High Street retailers and Amazon and eBay re-sellers.

We are not the only ones suffering here! The issue is symptomatic of the situation faced by thousands of other small companies nationally, as multiple retailers demand bigger chunks of supplier margins in order to allow them to remain profitable.

I’ve been forced to take this action to secure the healthy future of the business and ensure that the Dodo Pad brand doesn’t become extinct. There are a number of factors responsible for the current situation, including:

  • The recession in 2008, causing everyone to think carefully about expenditure
  • The growth of Amazon and eBay, fuelled by the recession, creating an expectancy for huge discounts on products
  • Re-sellers taking the opportunity to make money from the growth of these online giants. (Re-sellers sell the products on Amazon and eBay at unrealistically low prices and then make their money from postage contributions, meaning the supplier or manufacturer is left with practically nothing)
  • High Street retailers responding to this by asking for typically 75% of suppliers’ margins in order to compete with the low prices

Dodo Pad’s prices have not been increased above inflation over the past seven years and have barely been raised at all in the past three years.

The situation has really deteriorated too far. Enough is enough is enough. Brands have been under attack for the past seven years. The recession started in 2008, quickly followed by the huge growth of Amazon between 2009 and 2013.

The recession is not over and people’s attitudes have changed irrevocably in that the default position for most of us – right across the social spectrum – is to look for a bargain, part-fuelled by the recession which hit everybody who needed to worry about disposable income, coupled with the availability of products at a discount because of the rise of the internet.

The fact is that we are selling as many, if not more, of our diaries but making far less money and we have had to make a big decision about the way we do business in order to secure the future of the brand, which continues to be well loved by customers old and new.

We will continue to sell a selection of our diary ranges through WH Smith and Waterstones and to supply selected distributors, but we’ll be imposing strict conditions on re-sellers who wish to list on Amazon or eBay.

We will also continue to supply selected independent retailers to sell the brand in their stores or on their own websites. Bricks and mortar retailers will be able to sell our diaries and calendars and compete with the online price without the cost of post and packaging on top, so hopefully this will go some not insignificant way towards helping them too.

This is all about making relatively small changes that have a big impact. Dodo Pad is a brand that continues to be adored after 50 years. We have customers who have been using Dodo Pads for decades and we continue to attract new users who share the same passion. It truly is a brand that is treasured.

We are fighting to ensure the Dodo Pad brand does not become extinct so we’re around for the next 50 years.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!

Rebecca Jay, Managing Director

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