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Hurricane Spin Mop a top-seller

BY Barbara White-Sax

FAIRFIELD, N.J. — Hurricane Spin Mop, an ergonomic mop featuring microfiber technology, has become a top-selling product for TeleBrands. The mop cleans large surfaces with less water than traditional mops and does not require disposable refill pads since its detachable microfiber head can be machine washed up to 300 times.

The Hurricane Spin Mop retails for $39.99.

 

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Idea Village to release Wham-O branded toys

BY Barbara White-Sax

WAYNE, N.J. — Just in time for the holiday selling season, Idea Village is bringing two toys to retail under the classic Wham-O brand name. The Wham-O HoverBall, a soft soccer ball designed for indoor use, glides over carpet, tile and wood, and bounces off walls without making scratches or dents. The ball, available in blue, green and pink will be available at retail for $9.99.

Idea Village also is bringing Wham-O Squishy Sand to retail. The moldable, packable, shapeable sand is made with a special polymer for no-mess, indoor play since the product won’t stick to hands, tables, clothes or floors. The non-toxic sand comes in a sand pail set that includes 1.5 pounds of Squishy Sand, a roller, scratch knife and cutter. The product retails for $19.99.

 

 

 

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Focus turns from short life to brand building

BY Barbara White-Sax

Manufacturers of As Seen on TV merchandise are reshaping the category by focusing on extending the lives of their products and investing in long-term brand building.

“We’re concentrating on branding as part of our strategy for lengthening the product cycle,” said Ron Boger, president of Idea Village. “The traditional approach to the category was ‘one and done,’ but we think we can expand the life of a strong product with a multi-faceted approach of updated commercials, magazine and radio.”

The company has made improvements to its men’s and women’s grooming products and signed two celebrity spokespeople. Brett Favre, who also is the spokesman for the company’s CopperFit line of compression wear, will be the face of its Micro Touch men’s grooming aids. Fran Drescher is the celebrity spokeswoman and face of the Finishing Touch brands.

“Finishing Touch and Micro Touch are still No. 1 and No. 3 in their categories, and we are continuing to innovate in that space,” Boger said. “We know that women don’t want to use chemicals and expensive hair removal procedures on their skin, so the new Finishing Touch Yes! product is on trend. We also know that replacement blades for most men’s razors cost around $5 each, so the $20 retail [price] for a year’s worth or shaving for the new Micro Touch Tough Blade offers consumers a great value.”

The company is building on the success of its Snackeez line with new licensed products. A new Snackeez Junior product featuring characters from the movie “Frozen” will hit shelves in October, and other licenses will follow.

Other players in the category also are focused on keeping their products on shelves longer. “We want to extend our products’ post-TV life,” said Brad Specter, co-president of Top Dog Direct. “Some of our products, such as Urine Gone, have been on the market for years. We’re really trying to create new categories.”

Specter said that Night View yellow-tinted glasses are a perfect fit for pharmacy departments. Positioned near the reading glasses, the product fills a unique niche. “Drug stores represent 20% of our business, and we know they need to be selective in their assortment,” he said. Top Dog Direct aims to work closely with drug store retailers to maximize their sales per square foot. “We work on fixtures, clip-strips and other merchandising vehicles that can help retailers get as much product on the floor as possible.”

Not everyone in the category believes branding is the future. AJ Khubani, president of TeleBrands, is sticking to the company’s formula. “To keep a product on the shelf, you have to continually innovate. Some of our products, like the Pocket Hose, have been on the market for two years, and we expect a big year in 2015. But many products have even shorter lives. I’d say the life of a product is shorter than ever because consumers always want something new.”

Khubani thinks consumers also are willing to pay more for those innovative products. The company’s Hurricane Spin Mop, which retails for $39.99, has been a big hit, and Khubani expects the product to have strong holiday sales. “For a long time, the sweet spot was $9.99, but we’re starting to see more success with products priced at $14.99 or $19.99,” he said.

TeleBrands is featuring three new toys for the holiday season: Phantom Saucer, Ball Pets and Teddy Tank.

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