Ri Pleased targets the “kidults” and will earn BRL 500 million from it
In June of this year, the executive Ronaldo Pereira Junior, CEO of Ri Happy, was in New York, when he observed a gigantic line at the Lego store, in Rockefeller Center. What caught his attention was the large number of adults without children in the place.
Curious, he decided to do an informal survey with those present. And, to his surprise, the vast majority of adults in that line would buy a toy for themselves and not for their children or to give as a gift to a child.
“That just confirmed a perception I already had: that there is a big market for adults who buy toys for themselves to play with”, says Pereira Junior, to the NeoFeed.
Now, Ri Happy is entering this market that is known as “kidults” in the United States. The retailer controlled by the manager SPX/Carlyle is launching an exclusive line with the Star of 10 iconic toys from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s to hook the adult audience.
The toys that are being “resurrected” are the Rockita doll, the Falcon Turbocopter doll, the Snif puppy, the Aquaplay, Playing Driver, Kit Frit, the Lala doll and her puppy Lulu, the game Hold if you can, the Vertiplano plane and the Turn Turns Helicopter.
It’s not just a nostalgic joint release with Estrela. In fact, Ri Happy will structure an area dedicated to “kidults” in all of its 308 stores from 2023, as it does with the space dedicated to baby products.
It is the concept known as “store in store”. “It will be a business unit”, says Pereira Junior. This year, however, the company is organizing “corners” inside the establishments to sell the retro toys.
The “kidults” are also a business that is already being born a giant within Ri Happy. According to Pereira Junior, sales of toys for adults represented 12% of the company’s revenue in 2021. The favorite items of this audience are the Real Estate Bank, Hot Wheels cars and, as Pereira Junior had already discovered in New York, the famous LEGO building blocks.
The forecast of the CEO of Ri Happy, with the arrival of the Estrela line, is that the revenue from toys for adults will jump to 25% of revenue by the end of 2023. This year, the retailer estimates to move R$ 2.1 billion in all its sales channels (own stores, franchises, online and marketplace). The “kidults”, therefore, are born with a big income: more than R$ 500 million this year.
“If you look at the area of games and technology, this is a market that makes sense”, says Eduardo Terra, president of the Sociedade Brasileira de Varejo e Consumo (SBVC). “There’s that saying that when we grow up, what changes is the size and price of toys.”
Despite having been convinced that toys for adults were a big business in New York, Pereira Junior started working on the idea of relaunching classic toys from the past in 2021. outsider from the toy industry (he was CEO of Óticas Carol), he was thrilled to see an old movie by Estrela, in a meeting with suppliers of the sector.
Talking to Estrela’s executives, he learned that they still had the toy molds and began to negotiate the return of these toys. vintages that marked some generations of children. The hammer for the relaunch was struck at the end of last year. And Children’s Day, which takes place on October 12, was the date chosen for the relaunch.
Pereira Junior’s plan is to launch more exclusive toys in 2023. In addition, Ri Happy is talking to other suppliers, such as Mattel and Hasbro, to also relaunch toys that marked the era of these brands. The fact of starting the area of “kidults with Estrela, has a reason. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the Brazilian company was almost a monopolist in the country, with a market share of around 80%.
This is another move in the strategy of Pereira Junior, who took over Ri Happy in July 2020, to try to reduce dependence on the children’s toy retailer. The company has designed a strategic plan in which it intends to invest in three areas through M&As: entertainment, health and education.
In the first area, Ri Happy made the decision to create a children’s party buffet called Divertudo. The company is also considering creating “pay to play” areas in shopping malls, spaces where children can play while their parents shop.
In health, the idea is to set up vaccine clinics and carry out projects in the children’s area with hospitals. And finally, in education, the plan is to offer complementary courses that are not linked to fundamental education. “We have several NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) signed”, says Pereira Junior, referring to these new areas in which he intends to act.
The Executive, however, points out that efforts are now focused on sales for Children’s Day, Black Friday and Christmas, considered the most important dates for retail. “We should make some movement in the first half of 2023”, says the CEO of Ri Happy. The most advanced plan is the children’s party buffet.
For Terra, Ri Happy grew to the main capitals in an accelerated way, exploring the store model. “O core is already busy”, says the president of SBVC. “Now it needs to find new avenues of profitable growth.”
Despite this, Ri Happy will not abandon the expansion of its physical stores. Today, the company has 230 own stores and 78 franchises (248 Ri Happy and 60 PBKids). By the end of the year, eight more will be opened. In 2023, the plan is to open another 50 stores, of which 40 are franchises and 10 are owned.