Otto Simon is a Dutch importer, distributor, and franchiser of toys and homeware, headquartered in Almelo.

History Edit

The company was founded in 1911 by Otto Simon. At that time it was mainly a peddler company, specializing in beads and glassware. After the World War II, the emphasis shifted more to toys. In 1955 the company became a Private Company. Until 1970 the company was independent and grew into one of the largest toy importers in Europe. Domestically, it had a market share of 80%.

Since 1997, the company has evolved from a wholesaler into a retail organisation, with its own toy formulas Speelboom, Wigwam, Technohobby and Early Learning Centre. In 1999 the ELC formula was discontinued and in 2000 the formulas Wigwam and Speelboom were transferred to the new formula Top1Toys. In 2003, Ruud Schiphorst became the new owner of Otto Simon.[1]

In 2021, Marskramer, Novy, Prima, Wholesaler Gouda and Toys2Play were acquired from the Audax Groep.[1][2]

Brands Edit

Top1Toys Edit

Otto Simon's toy stores Wigwam and Speelboom were combined under the formula Top1Toys in 2000. The chain had 110 stores in 2021. On 1 April 2023, it had 101 stores.

Marskramer Edit

Marskramer is a chain of 39 stores (in November 2020) that sell homeware. If the store is also a Toys2Play shop, it also sells toys. It was acquired by Audax in 2019 from the Mirage Retail Group.[3] The chain has 47 stores on 1 April 2023.

Former Edit

Novy was a homeware and appliances store, founded in 1997. It was a subsidiary of Marskramer with 15 stores (November 2020). These, too, often doubled as Toys2Play stores. The Novy stores were rebranded Marskramer after the acquisition by Otto Simon.

Prima was a homeware and appliances store. It was a subsidiary of Marskramer with 26 stores (November 2020). Stores it had by Dutch province. Prima stores often doubled as Toys2Play stores. For example, in Dutch Limburg 2 out of the 3 stores were also Toys2Play. The Novy stores were rebranded Marskramer after the acquisition by Otto Simon.

References Edit

  1. ^ a b Kuitert, Gerben. "Otto Simon Almelo stapt naast speelgoed ook in huishoud: 160 winkels er bij". Tubantia. Speelgoedgroothandel Otto Simon in Almelo neemt 160 winkels van Marskramer, Novy, Prima, Groothandel Gouda en de Toys2Play over van Audax. Op Toys2Play na, gaat het om zaken in huishoudelijke artikelen die in de toekomst allemaal onder de merknaam Marskramer gaan opereren.
  2. ^ "Winkels Marskramer overgenomen door speelgoedhandel Otto Simon". RTL Nieuws. 25 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Audax kiest voor winkels: is het mediabedrijf gek geworden?". RTL Nieuws. 25 April 2019.