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"The childcare sector is always a great bet, because you address to a motivated and enthusiastic buyer"

Cristina Barroso, head of Todonenes, Villaviciosa de Odon (Madrid)

03/08/2011

The Todonenes store counts with nearly 2,000 square meters and a comprehensive range of childcare products, including major brands. In the current economic climate, Cristina Barroso, store manager, remembers that not only the price is important, but also the optimization of the investment, "and that can only be achieved with quality and durable products."

Why did you decided to work on the childcare industry?

Todonenes was established in 2003 with one clear objective: to inform parents about the most appropriate products for their children. We marked ourselves this goal when as future parents we visited some Madrid stores and came up with many catalogs and offers, but few answers about what really concerned us. The childcare sector is always a great bet, because you address to a motivated and enthusiastic buyer, which does not happen in other sectors.

The store offers a comprehensive range of childcare products. What items are most demanded by consumers?
The most requested items are strollers and car seats. We are seeing a drop in sales of furniture (there is an upward trend of borrowings) and an absolute collapse of decoration. Small items and textile products maintain sales. Strollers have become products that speak of users. Years ago, it was a tool to take the baby out, but now is almost an article of worship, so parents prefer to buy it.

However, rooms and furniture can be approached in another way, at least in Madrid, where visits from family and friends are less frequent than in other populations of our geography, in which this tradition is maintaining furniture sales. In general, people are trying to be imaginative. The fabric of the crib and the way in which the room is set have completely different structures. Whereas before, people chose a photo catalog and everything was installed just like that at home, now people select a few pieces to supplement what they already have, because budgets are limited. However, quality remains a priority and so, despite the difficulties, sales have not dropped.

In recent years, have you detected changes in consumption habits?

In an economic situation like we are living in our country, many things change in consumers' minds, and our obligation is to adapt to their new way of perceiving, and to reach them effectively. The price may seem a priority for any consumer, but anyway, parents are open to hearing arguments and reasons that make this first factor somewhat secondary. What the smart customer really wants is to optimize investment, and that can only be achieved with quality and durable products.

Todonenes has a website, a Facebook page and a Youtube channel. What benefits are achieved by using these new technologies?
We are in the information age, and to have an online storefront is to ensure a flow of audience that would not otherwise know you. However, our most important work is done behind closed doors. While new technologies place us on the web and we guarantee the rotation of the public, our sales force is within our establishment. The dedication to each of our clients is undoubtedly our greatest asset.

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