OAK BROOK, Ill., Nov. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ty Warner today announced that his company has completed 283 air shipments for the holiday shopping season in his effort to battle the global supply-chain crisis. In October, Warner began air-shipping his products into the U.S. for distribution. Once shipped, the toys are delivered to small retailers and to specialty, convenience, grocery and drug stores – the essence of Warner's longstanding retail strategy. Though his company, Ty Inc., is the largest manufacturer of soft toys in the world, it does not sell to Amazon, Target, or Walmart.
"The flights will continue. I'm doubling down on what I said two weeks ago: Christmas is not cancelled," Warner said. "I'm determined not to let the global supply chain issues interfere with the holidays, and I'm committed to supporting independent retailers."
"This year has been an incredible struggle for small businesses, as we are considered an 'afterthought' for most suppliers. Not Ty Warner. Ty has put small business first," said Debbie Stevens, owner of Candyapple & Co. in Medina, Ohio. "Ty has allowed me to fill my store with a terrific product – shockingly, without any price increases."
In response to supply chain delays, Ty Inc. is circumventing bottlenecked seaports and investing millions of dollars to air-freight Beanie Babies and Beanie Boos from China, where they are manufactured. With the typical cargo flight costing anywhere from $1.5 to $2 million, Ty has financed 283 flights to date. Despite the increased costs, Ty Inc. has not raised prices.
"I thank Mr. Warner for having the insight of not waiting and having product flown in. Not many companies have gone to this length to make sure we have product on our shelves to sell to all the kids," said Dave Knoll, owner of Black Sheep in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
The Beanie flights originate in airports in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hong Kong – as well as other locations in China – and land at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Once there, the Beanies are unloaded and carted to Ty Inc's suburban Chicago headquarters for further shipping. Ty products still sell for $5 to $10, Warner said.
And while industry analysts believe the supply chain crisis will drive even more traffic to national chains like Walmart, Target and Amazon – and will hurt smaller retailers who struggle to find product – Ty's sales strategy does the reverse.
"I'm very thankful Ty is airfreighting product in. This is just what we needed," said Aziz Gonultas, owner of Kool Toys in Buford, Ga. "Our fourth quarter has started out with a bang due to having full stock of all the best sellers."
Tania Lundeen (VP Global Sales) and Jose Verger (VP U.S. sales) are available for interviews, as are several independent retailers who stock Ty Inc. products.
About Ty Warner Ty Warner is an American toy manufacturer and owner of luxury hotels worldwide. He is Chairman, CEO, and founder of Ty Inc, the largest manufacturer of soft toys in the world. A philanthropist, Warner has donated more than $300 million to a variety of charities. Most recently, Warner released Max the dog Beanie Baby, with 100% of profits being donated to NEXT for Autism to raise awareness of autism support.
In April 2020, the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Fund received 100% of the profits from the sale of Hope, a limited-edition praying bear. In addition, Warner was the first to organize and prepare his Four Seasons Hotel New York as a safe haven for first responders during the pandemic. He made it possible for doctors and nurses working the frontlines to reside at the Four Seasons Hotel New York free of charge. This prevented unnecessary COVID exposure to their families and loved ones, reduced extensive travel to and from the city and allowed first responders the much-needed rest from their exhausting schedules.
Other charities that have benefitted from Warner's philanthropy efforts include Children's Hunger Fund, World Vision, Toy Bank, International Toy Bank, Today Show, Children's Miracle Network, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Toys for Tots, Princess of Wales Foundation, Andre Agassi Foundation, American Red Cross, Save the Children, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, NY Police and Fire Widow's Fund, Ronald McDonald House, USO, Mayo Clinic and UNICEF.