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Steiff and Melchers Enter into Partnership to Expand China Business

Giengen and Beijing, February 27, 2024 – The inventor of the teddy bear wants to expand further into the Middle Kingdom, hand in hand with an experienced local partner: Margarete Steiff GmbH has entered into a strategic partnership with the Melchers Group. The aim of the newly established joint venture “Steiff Asia Ltd.” is to strengthen the presence and marketing of Steiff products on the Chinese mainland. Steiff Asia Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong and has a subsidiary in Beijing, , Steiff (Beijing) Trading Co., Ltd. In order to handle the logistical flow of goods in Asia, an “Asia Supply Chain HUB” was established in the Shanghai free trade zone as part of the joint venture. This HUB functions as a central warehouse and distribution centre from which Steiff products will also be supplied to other markets in Asia and the USA in future.

Figure 1: Nicolas C.S. Helms, Managing Partner of Melchers Group and Dr. Ralf Holz, Commercial Director of the Steiff Group, sealed the long-term cooperation in Asia on the fringes of the “480th Schaffermahlzeit” in Bremen.

Frank Rheinboldt, Managing Director of Margarete Steiff GmbH, comments on this partnership: “This step will not only increase the efficiency of our supply chain, but also reinforce our quality promise to our customers. The goal of our global strategy is to optimize the brand experience across all physical and digital touchpoints. The collaboration with Melchers opens up new opportunities for us to unleash our full potential as a premium brand directly on site in the Asian market without letting go of the reins.”

Steiff’s activities in Mainland China are supported by the Chinese branches of the Melchers Group at both advisory and operational levels with their extensive market expertise and other services. Anton Melchers, Managing Director of C. Melchers GmbH & Co. KG, emphasizes the potential of the cooperation: “Comprehensive studies have shown that household incomes of the Chinese population are continuing to rise and that Chinese Generation Z attaches greater importance to emotions. This results in enormous potential for Steiff’s high-quality soft toy products, which we will jointly tap into in this long-term partnership. It fills us with pride to partner with such a renowned brand as Steiff and accompany its expansion on the Chinese market.”


About Margarete Steiff GmbH

The history of the traditional German company with its “Button in Ear” began in 1877, when Margarete Steiff founded a felt clothing shop at the age of 30. She initially made a pincushion for her friends. This “Filzelefäntle” was so popular with children that it became the first soft and child-friendly toy. From then on, the family-run company expanded its range, and in 1902 Margarete Steiff’s nephew Richard designed the first teddy bear. Today, Steiff is the world’s best-known toy and cuddly toy manufacturer and has been standing for the highest quality, tested safety, perfect design and first-class materials for over 140 years. In addition to cuddly toys, the product range has also included children’s and baby clothing since 2007. Margarete Steiff GmbH has also been active on the Chinese mainland for several years.

About Melchers Group

Melchers is a privately owned, German-based global service provider, with its roots in trading. Established in Germany in 1806 and subsidiaries in China as of 1866, Melchers encompasses deep understanding of a wide range of trades and services. In China, Melchers owns and operates several legal entities covering the geographic and economic potential, employing more than 200 staff. Among others, Melchers in China is able to provide fully integrated retail operation services. Its intimate and deep-rooted experience of the Chinese consumer landscape, deep understanding of local customer behavior and well-established distribution networks enable Melchers to offer customized and brand-oriented market approaches to its business partners.

Media Contact

Margarete Steiff GmbH
Felicia Ruf
[email protected]

C. Melchers GmbH & Co. KG
Linda Schleining
[email protected]

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