Good­baby ac­quires fa­mous for­eign brands, then makes them prof­itable

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By CANG WEI in Kun­shan, Jiangsu prov­ince cang­wei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Time-hon­ored house­hold brand names from Europe and North Amer­ica have be­come prof­itable af­ter being ac­quired by Good­baby Group, China’s largest man­u­fac­turer and re­tailer of baby-care prod­ucts.

Song Zhenghuan, chair­man of Good­baby Group, said that Even­flo, a lead­ing US maker of car safety seats, high chairs and other prod­ucts for young children, made a profit of about $14 mil­lion in 2016, af­ter being in­cor­po­rated into the group.

According to the com­pany’s 2015 an­nual re­port, Even­flo’s rev­enue of Even­flo was around $231 mil­lion in 2015, a 16.5 per­cent in­crease over 2014.

Cy­bex GmbH, a Ger­man pro­ducer of pre­mium car seats, has dou­bled its prof­its in 2016, reach­ing $200 mil­lion, af­ter being ac­quired by the group, Song said.

Both the com­pa­nies were ac­quired by Good­baby in 2014, which gave the group wide ex­po­sure in over­seas mar­kets, in ad­di­tion to the boom­ing Chi­nese mar­ket.

Song at­trib­uted the suc­cess mostly to the group’s in­no­va­tion and mar­ket­ing strate­gies.

“We now have re­searchers from 34 coun­tries,” said Song. “We have a tra­di­tion to play the na­tional an­thems be­fore hold­ing im­por­tant meet­ings. It takes a while to play the na­tional an­thems for all our work­ers.”

Now, the Suzhou-based com­pany has seven re­search cen­ters in Ger­many, France, Aus­tria, the Czech Repub­lic, the United States, Ja­pan and in Kun­shan of east­ern China’s Jiangsu prov­ince.

It also es­tab­lished a brand management and Euro­pean busi­ness cen­ter in Bayreuth, Ger­many, a US busi­ness cen­ter in Bos­ton and a fi­nanc­ing and le­gal af­fairs cen­ter in China’s Hong Kong.

“Good­baby has reg­is­tered 7,400 patents since it was founded in 1989,” Song said. “It is big­ger than the patents of our top 10 com­peti­tors com­bined. Ev­ery year, we reg­is­ter more than 500 patents.”

In 2015, Good­baby reg­is­tered more than 620 patents world­wide and won more than 100 product de­sign and safety awards.

“We are proud of our in­no­va­tion ca­pa­bil­ity and safety con­trol tech­nolo­gies. Even in the US and Euro­pean mar­kets, where prod­ucts are fre­quently re­called, we haven’t made any prod­ucts that should be re­called since we en­tered the over­seas mar­ket in 1996.”

According to the group, its lab­o­ra­tory has been rec­og­nized by in­ter­na­tional au­thor­i­ties, in­clud­ing SG, TUVNord and CPSC in the US. The prod­ucts ex­am­ined and rec­og­nized by the lab­o­ra­tory can be sold at the US and Euro­pean mar­kets di­rectly.

Being the largest sup­plier of strollers in North Amer­ica, Europe and China, Good­baby has stamped its name on 80 per­cent of its prod­ucts, while, be­fore 2016, 80 per­cent of its man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts were branded by other world lead­ing com­pa­nies.

Now about 70 per­cent of Good­baby’s busi­ness is in over­seas mar­kets in Asia, North Amer­ica and Europe.

GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY

A worker as­sem­bles a stroller at a fac­tory of Good­baby Group in Kun­shan, Jiangsu prov­ince.

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