Gifts Today magazine

Dawn Lavalette joins Wow! Stuff

Former Head of Buying at Tesco for Toys joins as Commercial Director

Dawn Lavalette, former Head of Buying at Tesco PLC for Toys UK and Central Europe, has joined Wow! Stuff as Commercial Director, overseeing global sales and major UK and international customers. In her new role, Dawn will implement new systems to help Wow! Stuff’s innovative products reach more retailers and distributors internationally.

'I knew the minute I met Richard North, Wow! Stuff’s CEO, that this is where I wanted to be. The breadth of their pop-culture toy innovations is beyond anything I’ve ever seen before. The excitement and the ability of the co-founders, as well as the people they have attracted to the business, has ensured the culture is one of warmth, passion and drive. This business is eminently scalable and the opportunity to be part of that growth, as a shareholder in the company, was too good an opportunity to miss!', says Dawn.

As the Wow! Stuff team continues to grow and strengthen, Jon Birch, Sales Director and shareholder, has been promoted to Managing Director of the newly-created Demonstration Division, the jewel in the crown for Wow! Stuff.

Commenting on his appointment, Jon said, 'I’m excited to be expanding the Demonstration Division internationally. This is a skill set unique to our business that now requires a focus of its own. Sales have increased 20-fold in every location where we have rolled out our Demo Programme, and it delivers more sales per sq. ft of retail space than any other business driver, including TV advertising. We will be measured with our partnerships, but I still invite retailers to contact me about working with us. Our Science Museum patented Mystery UFO is perhaps what we are best known for, however, we have a dozen Demo lines that remain best sellers in the stores where Demo Artists operate. We also have plenty of new products in the pipeline that will absolutely blow the minds of our demo retailers’ customers!'

Simon Gardner, Wow! Stuff’s Chairman, former CMO of Hasbro Inc and President of Hasbro Europe, commented, 'We have seen a near 50 percent growth in the business so far during 2018 and it’s our resolute focus on building a world class leadership team which has made this possible. I am confident that Jon’s promotion and Dawn’s recruitment, as well as the appointment of Alice Yung as Director of Sales APAC earlier this year, will aid Richard in his vision to make the business a first-class global operation.'

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