Félix Tena was the president and majority shareholder of Step Two, S.A; a company with headquarters in Zaragoza, Spain. He studied business administration in Spain and continued his studies in the United States. This allowed him to witness first-hand the American ways of life and of doing business. When he returned to Spain, he launched Publijuego, a small businessventure in the educational toy sector. He also sold the 50% of Publijuego to some Italian partners, but that partnership wasn`t successful, so the company was wound up in 1990.
By that time, Félix Tena observed that mass merchandisers were becoming increasingly important players in the Spanish toy market. The market was dominated by small, independent, specialized toy stores who sold toys all overthe year.
In 1991, Toys R Us, the “category killer”, had opened its first store in Barcelona, Spain; and traditional small independent toy stores were fast disappearing from the Spanish retail scene. The mass merchandisers were changing the toy retail game by concentrating their sales efforts around the high Christmas season, when they temporarily allocated significant sales floor space totoys. They only bought and sold toys they knew would be backed by strong national TV campaigns. Toys received the same retail marketing treatment as any other packaged consumer product. No one seemed to to place any importance on identifying and promoting the educational role that toys, as children’s companions, should pay.
That situation made a strong impact on Tena and he began to wonderwhether anything could be done to change it. Maybe he could find a different range or collection of toys that would transmit or contribute something new for children: imagination, relationships, and opportunities to play with their parents, far from fads and cartoons characters. Tena felt that children should be active participants rather than mere spectators.
In early March 2001, thepresident of Imaginarium was mulling over the decisions facing him regarding his company's commercial strategy. By this time Imaginarium was a chain of 161 toy stores, of which 53 are its own and 108 were franchised. Of these, 112 were in Spain and 49 were spread across nine other countries.
The issues that the company was facing were:
* the chain's internationalization and developmentprogram.
* The launch of a new Web page offering the possibility of online sales.
* The related further development of Club Imaginarium.
The company had almost 400,000 families registered as club members, but didn’t have anything like a loyalty card to allow it to determine, with any certainty, member-families' annual expenditure on toys. The company was considering the pros and cons oflaunching a loyalty card and whether it should be an exclusive card or a multiclient one.
The Company planned to open 25 more stores outside Spain in 2001 and further 63 in 2002, increasing the number of countries in which it anticipated having stores to 18 by the end of 2002. Also, having 50% of the outlets to be the company´s own stores (readjusted by the expansion drive without mentioning more).Finally, becoming the leading multinational in Europe and to lead our market segment at the international level.
Since 2006, beside the toy products, Imaginarium started to expand its line of business, so now it offers other services. Nowadays Imaginarium has an Imaginarium Travel Lines, S.L. With the purpose of becoming the company in charge of the creation and organization of the tripsfor the families, and its commercialization.
By 2009, more than 1.000 people had travelled through this travel agency. Some of the thematic trips that Imaginarium Travel Lines S.L, had offered are: Hasta 2009, más de 1.000 personas han viajado a través de este servicio de agencia de viajes. Algunos de los viajes temáticos que Imaginarium Travel Lines, S.L. Some of the thematic trips that the...