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Kidrobot, Boulder, Col.

BY CSA STAFF
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Toy collecting is definitely not just for the small fry at Kidrobot, which has evolved from a cool toy store for kids and adults alike in New York City’s hip SoHo into a multimillion dollar retail and wholesale company.

With much of the merchandise inspired by pop art from Hong Kong and Japan and designed by urban, edgy artists, the store offers an eclectic mix of limited edition toys, plush, apparel and accessories. But it is best known for its small, artfully crafted branded vinyl figures, which draw hard-core collectors of all ages. Among its most popular creations are its Dunny and MUNNY characters.

In addition to its own stores, Kidrobot products are sold in stores around the globe. Some of its most famous creations are in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The brand’s latest store, in Boulder, Col., is its seventh to date, and was designed by JGA, Southfield, Mich. At 632 sq. ft., it is fun and inviting, fashioned to highlight the product and create a space where art, design and surprise all meet.

The exterior features a signature Kidrobot-blue band with two oversized “Dunny” characters (one of Kidrobot’s iconic characters) displayed above the entry level. The characters can be switched out to accommodate other Kidrobot folk.

On the interior, a white palette allows the colorful merchandise to pop within its environment. Four large video monitors along the perimeter present art of promotional content that help bring the Kidrobot lineup of characters to life. In other highlights, there is an interactive installation featuring the brand’s other signature character, Munny, which includes a five-ft. tall chalkboard with finished cutout of the figure.

The store’s plush items and other juvenile products are displayed near the storefront, with items of interest to older shoppers are located mid-store and in rear displays. Owing to their limited edition and archival nature, some products are showcased in secure cases and displays in a gallery-styled space in the rear of the store.


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Murdock makes power play at Dole

BY CSA STAFF

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — Dole Food Company’s board of directors has received an unsolicited proposal from David H. Murdock, the company’s chairman of the board and CEO, to acquire all the outstanding shares of common stock of Dole not already owned by Murdock or his family for $12 per share in cash.

The board of directors will be meeting throughout the next several days to establish a special committee of independent directors to consider Murdock’s proposal and its implications, in the context of assessing the appropriate course of action that is in the best interests of the company and its stockholders.

The company is cautioning its stockholders and others considering trading in the company’s securities, stating that the process of considering the proposal is only in its beginning stages.

The offer, which Murdock made yesterday evening to the board, represents an 18% premium over the closing price on Monday, June 10, of $10.20 per share and a premium of 19% to the volume-weighted average stock price for the one month preceding June 10.

The offer contemplates the negotiation and execution of a binding agreement by July 31, which would contain customary terms and conditions for transactions of this type. Murdock has stated he will not proceed unless the offer is approved by a committee of independent directors and by a majority of the outstanding shares not owned by him. He has engaged Deutsche Bank to advise on the transaction.

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New president at Bai Brands

BY CSA STAFF

HAMILTON, N.J. — Bai Brands, makers of a line of all-natural, 5-calorie, antioxidant-infused beverages, has promoted Ken Kurtz to the role of president. Kurtz will be charged with leading the company’s sales efforts globally.

Kurtz sits alongside COO Barak Bar-Cohen and CFO Ari Soroken, who make up the company’s executive leadership team.

Kurtz will lead sales companywide as Bai develops, deploys and enhances its national growth strategy. He has more than 20 years of experience with brands such as Boston Beer Company, E&J Gallo and FIJI Water.

"Ken is simply the best in the business, and his sales and marketing strategies have given us unparalleled traction in an extraordinarily competitive industry," noted founder and CEO Ben Weiss. "Ken has unmatched organizational development experience and has led the company into this current period of hyper-growth. We are therefore excited to continue working with him in this new capacity to build on the incredible success Bai has enjoyed."

The company intends on leveraging Kurtz’s relationships with major distributors and industry stakeholders as it positions itself to expand operations across the U.S.

"My focus since joining the company has been entirely on helping people all over the country to experience the healthy alternative that is Bai," said Kurtz. "This new role provides an opportunity to shift these efforts into a higher gear as we move toward national distribution, and I am both honored and excited about taking up the task and putting Bai into the hands of more people everywhere."

Kurtz will report directly to Weiss.

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