DHL proves invaluable in supporting U.S. upstart's explosive growth
Stretchy ShapesTM fueling kids animal bracelet craze, shipping 3.6 million bands a week to retailers worldwide
With DHL's logistical expertise, the delivery cycle of the Stretchy Shapes' bracelets now averages 2 to 3 days.
DHL announced today that it is now the exclusive international express delivery provider for Stretchy Shapes, the market leader in upscale, durable and highly collectible fun-shaped bracelets. DHL Express is helping the Birmingham, Alabama-based company meet the exploding demand from retailers for its products by expediting Stretchy Shapes' imports from Asia to the U.S. market as much as 75 percent faster.
In the six short months since April Mraz and Cherie Stine founded Stretchy Shapes, the business has grown exponentially as children around the world have embraced the craze of collecting and trading its bracelets. "We came back from a New York City toy fair early this year knowing we had a business and we were on to something big... really big," explained April Mraz, Stretchy Shapes' co-founder and self-proclaimed design diva. "Orders started flooding in, but we couldn't fulfill them fast enough, and needed a fool-proof, efficient way to get our product from the factory floor to the retail floor as quickly and hassle-free as possible.
"Stretchy Shapes' original distribution process involved a forwarding agent, resulting in a delivery time of 8 to 12 days from its factories in China to the company's U.S. warehouse. With DHL's logistical expertise, that delivery cycle now averages 2 to 3 days. After pickup at the factories in Xiamen, China, DHL transports Stretchy Shapes' bracelets to its hub in Hong Kong, clears U.S. Customs at DHL's Cincinnati hub, and delivers them to the company's headquarters and distribution center in Birmingham, Ala.
By utilizing DHL Express, Stretchy Shapes has realized as much as a 75% time savings in international delivery cycles, allowing it to bring its uniquely designed bracelet packs to a hyper-competitive market far more quickly. Stretchy Shapes currently generates weekly shipments totaling 3.6 million bracelets to retailers and distributors across the U.S.
Expanded product line
"In addition to the rapid delivery, the level of customer service we receive from DHL is regularly above and beyond our expectations," Mraz continued. "From our helpful local courier, to the DHL service center manager who calls to let us know an exact time frame for a delivery, to the attention we receive from our sales rep, we have been delighted that a start-up small business like ours would be able to enjoy this kind of support from a global giant like DHL."
OCG Products, the parent company of Stretchy Shapes, is already working to expand its 18-themed bracelet packs to include a limited edition "International Expertise" set for DHL. Stretchy Shapes is also expanding its current product line of silicone-based products to additional outlets in the U.S. and new international markets.
"We're incredibly proud and grateful to have a shipping partner that is a leader in their industry," said Mraz. "Whether kids around the world know it or not, they wouldn't have the hottest bands around their wrists without DHL's critical support of Stretchy Shapes." "DHL's partnership with Stretchy Shapes demonstrates how vital our services are to helping small- to medium-sized businesses grow as well as expand into new markets," said Terry Carter, General Manager and Area Vice President for DHL Express. "DHL is dedicated to meet our customers' special needs and will go the extra mile to deliver all the attention and international expertise these growing entrepreneurs expect and deserve."