Step2 – a key supplier of plastic playsets, children’s furniture, outdoor furniture, and storage products among others – has acquired manufacturing, distribution, and shipping assets of a 132,000-square-foot location in Decatur, Georgia. The company noted that everything in the location, from the rotomolding machines, power tools, and quality control systems to support systems in the office and maintenance sector, were needed to meet what it called “exceptional” demand for toys and home products because of the pandemic.
In addition to the 150-175 employees planned for that location, the company has indicated plans to hire an additional 100 employees for its two plants in Streetsboro and Perrysville, Ohio.
Step2 executives noted sales are up for backyard products such as water tables, play houses, wagons and rise-on items, as well as pergolas and outdoor furniture. Step2 CEO Tony Ciepiel commented “many are looking for a variety of active indoor and outdoor play experiences for children while also seeking outdoor comforts to entertain and relax in a place many feel most safe – at home.”
The fact that sales are still up indicates that families are planning to continue outdoor play and recreation into the cooler fall and perhaps also winter months. Garages, gazebos, and other features that provide at least partial shelter from inclement weather will help, as will the rising sales of outdoor heaters and fire pit products and families investing in snow boots, water-proof pants, and insulated gloves, hats, and coats.
As the Scandinavian phrase goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including Outdoor Furniture & Grills, Sheds & Other Residential Outdoor Storage, Outdoor Kitchens, Home Organization Products, and Tool Storage Products, as well as Freedonia Focus Reports Sports Equipment: United States, Men’s Clothing: United States, and Women’s Clothing: United States. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.