Christmas is busiest season for Patch Products

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Shelly Birkelo
Sunday, November 10, 2013

TOWN OF BELOIT—Cases and pallets full of boxed Patch Products merchandise were ready for pick up by trucks that would come and go all day from the loading docks of the locally-owned company's Wymer building on the Inman Parkway campus.

Some were headed for Michigan and Ohio, while others would be sent to Nebraska. But the family-friendly games, puzzles and toys were headed to toy retailers all over the United States and Canada.

At the opposite end of the shipping building, Christian Jamieson scanned, priced and packaged individual consumer orders.

He was among 13 temporary employees working extra hours this time of year in preparation for the holidays, including online Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, said Lisa Wuennemann, marketing director.

"This is our busiest time of year," she said.

Patch Products in July starts shipping products daily for Christmas to a wide variety of chain retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us, Kmart and Shopko, but November is its busiest shipping month when chain stores and specialty retail shops are placing re-orders, Wuennemann said.

Shipping Manager Kelli Hedrington agreed: "We've been working 10 hours a day for several weeks and will start working 12-hour days the second week of November," she said.

The shipping, marketing and sales staffs are still working hard on Christmas 2013, but product development and manufacturing employees already are working on the 2014 Christmas line that the sales staff will start selling in November. That's when the marketing team also will develop plans on how to market it, Wuennemann said.

"The first week of December is the last week we can ship orders for products to hit store shelves for Christmas at chain retailers," Wuennemann said.

Shipping employees will continue picking, packing and expediting orders until the week of Dec. 16 so they can reach specialty stores and individual consumers in time for Christmas, she said.

Patch became the exclusive distributor of the 3D maze game Perplexus to independent toy and gift retailers this year. Patch also launched its new Mirari line of specialty preschool toys in 2013. The infant and toddler toys feature classic play with innovative twists, according to Patch's website.

Another new category Patch entered this year was soft collectible dolls. Planet Sock Monkey is a line of sock monkeys infused with personality that are not the sock monkeys your grandparents had when you were a kid.  These dolls have attitude, style and humor and became Patch's first line to be available for license.

These newest Patch Products can be found at specialty shops or online but not at chain retail stores, Wuennemann said.

So if you're among those who prefer not to fight Black Friday crowds, you have the option of shopping for any of Patch Products' items online at patchproducts.com.

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