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“There is an oversupply, particularly in strollers, that should normalize eventually”

Juan José COMAS, general director, Dorel Hispania


Montreal based Dorel sells its juvenile products in around 70 countries, under brands such as Quinny, Maxi-Cosi, Safety 1st, Baby Relax and Bébé Confort. Juan José Comas manages the Spanish branch of a company that closed 2010 with record figures: revenue of $2.3 billion and an increase of 4.2% in net income.

Dorel is a brand present worldwide: baby care is becoming more homogeneous or are there cultural and country differences?
There are big differences by countries. For example, Southern Europe prefers security carry cots of the 0 group, while other countries opt for the group 0+ carry cots. On the other hand, there are homogeneous trends, such as the Isofix based baby car seats.

What are your companies priorities when designing and manufacturing your products (security, design, ecology)?
Dorel thinks that the company’s future, as well as the future of the planet and its population, is linked to its capacity of developing a sustainable economic growth.

Dorel group is wholly devoted to babies and children welfare, and feels responsible of the ecological and ethical impact of its commercial activity. The firm wants to be an active part of a sustainable world of future generations; also, Dorel wishes to protect the environment and contribute to a better society.

Given its characteristics, the child care sector has been one of the least hit by the crisis, at least compared with other businesses. How Dorel has faced this financial situation?
We believe that the best way to face such a difficult situation, is to adapt both product prices and costs, focusing investments in those areas that add value.

How do you think the industry could evolve in the coming years?

There are great uncertainties about the business evolution, some at a local level and other globally. Among the firsts, the shift in the consumer buying mentality, that weighs to favour the price / quality relationship. Also, there is an oversupply, particularly in strollers, that should normalize in the near future; in fact, there are clear signs that this is already happening. Internet is a global phenomenon that is affecting consumer habits as well as manufacturers and distributors marketing. This process will culminate when the so-called "Generation Y" reaches the age of childbearing.

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