The move allows K’NEX to sell its products directly to consumers in China.
The new online offerings (meilike.tmall.com) identify the first official presence for K’NEX in mainland China.
“We’ve got a strategic plan in place to grow internationally; as we identify markets that make sense, we look at e-commerce platforms that make sense,” said Michael Araten, president and CEO of K’NEX Brands. China has a large, growing economy with affluent consumers, he added.
The website will provide increased access to the Chinese consumer market for K’NEX building sets such as Angry Birds, Super Mario Brothers and Mario Kart, all of which are popular in China.
“It’s one of the fastest growing economies in the world; they are using discretionary spending now,” Araten said. “The great thing about China is that they are focused on educational play.”
The company now distributes its products to about 37 countries and has its eyes on India and Brazil, but is focusing on growing the China market, Araten said.
K’NEX began researching the e-commerce platform in 2011 and chose Export Now as its partner, Araten said. Now that K’NEX figured out how to sell its products directly to consumers in China, sales should begin in a few weeks, Araten said.
Export Now will boost brand awareness of K’NEX through social media, search engine optimization and marketing.