- Tech Insights
Leon Summers, CEO of Anker Play Products, has created a culture based on old-fashioned values with a modern twist. Our culture is based around working hard and, just as importantly, smart, with a high degree of creativity and an "out of the box" approach to all aspects of our business.
"The customer is always and will always be king. Our culture thrives because of this, and as a result, we ensure we over-deliver to our customers, I believe this has enabled us to grow revenue year on year," says Leon. We also work hard on fostering great vendor relationships, which enables us to access pricing that our competitors cannot. I have personally spent years and countless hours developing relationships all over the world, and we have a very strong and robust supply chain that enables us to adapt to changing market conditions and remain highly competitive in our industry. Leon and his team ensure their culture is fast-paced; as a business grows, one of the challenges is ensuring the pace and hunger of a start-up can be maintained. This is where he sees a lot of companies fail. We have worked hard to ensure that while there are protocols in place throughout the organization, they allow fast-paced decision making and allow us to react quickly to an ever-changing marketplace. This allows us to compete with smaller organizations nipping at our heels, while also ensuring we are much more reactive than our similar-sized industry counterparts.
Outside of Anker Play Products, Leon has a property development company that builds luxury homes in the Miami Beach area, which has been very successful. He has delivered high-end homes, supplied with the finest finishes direct from Italy’s best artisans. In this business, he has worked with up-and-coming real estate brokers who are hungry and want to have opportunities to prove themselves in a highly competitive market where most find it hard to get on the ladder. "We took a different approach, and we wanted to find less established young brokers to find property deals for us who would go the extra mile to make deals happen. Some of these young superstars, partly thanks to our business transactions, are well on their way to becoming some of the best and most successful brokers in the Miami market today."
The steadfast leader believes in leading by example, and his father taught him always to be prepared to do what one asks of others. "This is one tool I use. I am always willing to roll up my sleeves and do what is necessary to get things done. I started at a young age and was fortunate enough to come from a family who encouraged me to believe in myself. “Armed with such a unique ideology, Leon has led the company to new heights.
Anker Play Products is the leader in the North American, Canadian, and Latin American markets as a supply chain partner to leading retailers, big volume buyers, and distributors of mass market toys, activity kits, and play products. They work with over 2500 customers from mass retailers such as Walmart and Target, grocery chains like Kroger and Albertsons, value retailers like Dollar General and Five Below, off-price retailers such as TJ Maxx and Burlington, and independent specialty mom-and-pop retailers. They have over 10,000 SKUs and develop around 1000 new SKUs per year. In 2016, Anker Play Products was launched, and in 2021 they had their most successful year to date, growing 72% in a very competitive environment. They are on track to hit $100 million in revenue.
The only way to differentiate yourself and avoid becoming entangled in a price war is to offer unique products. “It’s because we buy in large quantities and have extremely close vendor relationships that date back to the beginning of my career over 20 years ago," Leon says. “We keep our overheads lean and have excellent customer-facing relationships."
In the days to come, the company has decided to increase its domestic stock holdings for its customers here in the US and rely less on selling goods to customers on an FOB China basis. With ever-increasing freight rates and a lack of supply of container space, they have decided to increase stock holdings as they see customers wanting more hand-to-mouth deliveries and quicker lead times.
Anker Play Products
Our culture is based around working hard and, just as importantly, smart, with a high degree of creativity and an "out of the box" approach to all aspects of our business.