Editorial Coordinator Barbara Wujcik spoke with Pete Meyers, vice president of product development for Essentials Brands, who spoke about the company’s new Baby Planet Unity Sport twin stroller and how retailers can promote them in their stores.
"Our Baby Planet Unity Sport twin stroller was designed because we saw a need not being met. I’ve been in baby business for about 22 years and have seen a steady market in tandem strollers. We saw several problems with the designs. Having the handles on each side on the outer edges makes the stroller more difficult to steer and because of where the hands are, often leads to scraping your hands as you try to enter or exit an area. We came up with a center-mounted handle that makes it easier to steer and eliminates the hand- scraping problem.
"Another good feature is that we’ve moved the rear-central wheel a few inches further up. What that means is you no longer kick the wheel as you walk. The result is we can offer a longer walking stride than any stroller. An additional unexpected benefit of these design changes is the central handle balances the weight, so it doesn’t favor one side — as is often the case with a younger and older children of different weights in the same stroller. It provides a better experience for everyone. The stroller has been on the market since the end of June and has been very popular. The suggested retail for the twin stroller is $289.99, which is mid-price to the upper half of what is in the market.
"Many retailers have avoided or gotten out of selling this kind of equipment. For many, twin or tandem strollers have been considered a necessary evil. For retailers, in a category like this you have to address the issues that consumers faced. Retailers say it is not a prime category. We suggest demonstrating the stroller, so people can see how easily it can be handled. We also offer a showroom model program that includes a laminated tag explaining all the choices available. That allows retailers to try out selling strollers without having to bring in a lot of inventory.”