An offspring of The Little Tikes Company, The Step2 Company manufactures and sells a variety of plastic toys for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as products for the home and garden. The company also produces educational toys under the Thinkativity brand, and its Infantino subsidiary makes baby products. Step2 operates a retail store in Ohio and also sells its offerings online and through mass merchandisers and specialty retailers (such as Lowe's, Target, Toys "R" Us, and Wal-Mart) in the US, Canada, and more than 60 other countries. Step2 was established in 1991 by Thomas Murdough, the founder and former Little Tikes president. The company has been owned by New York-based private equity firm Liberty Partners since 2006.
Step2 operates a pair of plants in northern Ohio. Overseas the company has a manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia, a distribution center in the UK, and has a presence in South Korea through a licensing agreement with The Gunica Co.
The company is big in plastics. Step2 the world's largest rotational molder of plastics and the largest American manufacturer of preschool and toddler toys. It exports its products to more than 60 countries.
Sales and Marketing
Step2 distributes its products through multiple retail channels including toy retailers, mass merchants, home centers, and the Internet.
To meet growing worldwide demand for its juvenile products, the company added a manufacturing site in Saudi Arabia. The move followed the shutdown of the company's factory in Georgia in 2010. The company, which has been focusing on lean manufacturing processes, shifted the leftover production to its two plants in Ohio. The closure affected about 100 employees, roughly 10% of Step2's total workforce.
Step2 is investing in newer rotomolding technology to make production processes more efficient and to design more versatile toys that can be used by children as they grow older.