The story behind the Micro Scooter craze
This year it’s estimated UK school kids are set to scoot to school over 16.2 million miles (the equivalent of circumnavigating the world 650 times) on what have become the hottest things on three wheels – Micro Scooters. This incredible phenomenon is the result of five years of dedicated commitment by two inspiring ‘mumtrepreneurs’: Anna Gibson and Philippa Gogarty.
Anna and Philippa met in 2002 when they were both struggling to keep up with an ever-growing band of extremely active kids. Anna had managed to get hold of the Mini Micro Scooter for her children and couldn’t believe how it changed her life for the better. She started selling the scooters door-to-door to neighbours and friends and they quickly became a talking point at the school gates. She then had the brainwave of putting a sticker with her mobile telephone number on the base of all the scooters and the orders soon flooded in.
Only available in a handful of specialist shops, Anna joined forces with Philippa and together they set out to make them more widely available. This led to the establishment of Micro Scooters Ltd in 2004 with sole distribution rights in the UK for the Mini and Maxi Micro Scooter.
However, Anna and Philippa had even bigger ambitions for the company, and with no previous experience of the retail trade (Anna was a litigation lawyer by training and Philippa a fundraiser), the women set about persuading some of the UK’s major toy retailers to stock their product. John Lewis was one of the first department stores to sell the Mini Micro scooter in 2005 and the first order was for 600 units. For 2010, almost 100,000 Mini and Maxi scooters are expected to be sold, making it our best selling toy.
“We work very closely with the John Lewis toys buying office to make sure we plan ahead to meet demand and develop the brand.” say Anna and Philippa. “When you’re negotiating with the big retailers and sorting major distribution deals, there’s no doubt that you can potentially be overwhelmed by the scale of opportunity presented to you. However, John Lewis were straight forward and enthusiastic supporters who saw the opportunity and supported our business efforts.”
Since then, sales of Micro Scooters have gone from strength to strength. Accessories now play a significant part. There are school bags you can attach to your Micro Scooter, a Scoot ‘n’ Pull tag you can use to tug your child along, and Wheel Wizzers that create colourful patterns as the wheels go round and round.
It seems the popularity of Micro Scooters will run and run…