Danish design manufacturer gets major Japanese partner

Børnelund employees with bObles furniture.

The Danish manufacturer of playing furniture for children, bObles, has signed a major distribution agreement for the Japanese market. The partner is the Japanese chain Børnelund, which owns approximately 100 childrens’ outfit shops in Japan and also operates 23 indoor playgrounds named Kid-O-Kid. Despite the Danish-sounding name, Børnelund is a 100% Japanese owned company.

The agreement is an important element in bObles’ focused export strategy, by which the company has chosen to focus on three key markets, which, besides Japan, are Norway and Finland. Japan is chosen as a key market because the minimalist design of bObles’ furniture fits perfectly with the small Japanese homes, says Ture V. Munksgaard, whose occupation is International Elephant Driver at bObles.

He adds that it has been quite a cultural challenge for a small Danish company as bObles, where people are accustomed to quick and flexible decision-making processes, to establish a cooperation with a major Japanese partner, where decisions only are made centrally. However, through sustained efforts over the last three years, the cooperation has succeeded, and bObles now expects to double its sales in Japan in 2016 and again in 2017.

The next step in bObles’ offensive on the Japanese market is the introduction of the so-called Tumletid concept, which for some time has been known in Denmark. Tumletid is an event to be held in the shops for up to 12 parents with their children at a time, during which they will have the opportunity to play in a special tent with bObles furniture, and also get lectures about playing, learning and motoric functions.

Watch a film about the bObles concept here.

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