Being cute may not be the key to success in the business world, but Vermont Teddy Bear thinks it can't hurt. It makes old-fashioned, jointed teddy bears up to 3 feet tall. They're available in several colors and about 190 different outfits, such as ballet tutus, wedding gowns, and sports uniforms. Best known for its Bear-Grams (which include a bear, candy, and personalized message), Vermont Teddy Bear sells the bears from a pair of factory retail stores and via catalogs and the Internet. Other operations include Pajama-Grams (sleepwear and bath or body products in a keepsake hat box) and SendAMERICA's Tasty-Grams (regional food specialties). An investment group took the company private in 2005.
Vermont Teddy Bear is extending its reach for the first time in its decades-long history. After attending the American International Toy Fair in 2010, the company made its iconic teddy bears available for sale through retailers. The alliance provides Vermont Teddy Bear with another promising sales channel and allows it to rely less on its own factory stores and website. In addition, the toy company debuted its first modified design to be marketed specifically to young children. They include Soft Floppy Bears, Take-Along-Teddies, Go Green Bears, and Woolen Bears.
The company's BearGram (which can be shipped overnight) accounts for about half of its sales. The firm also sells bear accessories (bear-sized sunglasses, hats, bouquets, sporting goods), as well as embroidered message pillows or sashes to attach to the bears. Its Make A Friend For Life program allows visitors to its factory to create their own custom bears.
The company got into floral sales through its acquisition of Calyx & Corolla (in 2003). Vermont Teddy Bear's corporate sales program (dubbed "B2B" for "Bears-to-Business") offers promotional products and corporate gifts. – less