Launched in 2001, RED5 (Menkind Group) is a company founded by men – selling gadgets, drinking games, football gifts, novelty items and homeware – for men. It sells items through more than 30 shops, online and pop-up stores and to independent retailers around the country.
“We think gadgets are fun and we only sell the types of gifts we would love to receive ourselves,” says its CEO, Paul Kraftman. “Our mission is to provide a wide choice of men’s gifts for the man who has everything.” The company has been flourishing after cashing in on a growing trend of specialist men’s gadgets and last year acquired rival store RED5. “This will help both brands increase market share and accelerate our expansion,” says Paul.
“It will also enable us to expand through franchising the brand internationally.” Menkind has been canny in its strategy, and capitalised during the recession by taking up short-term space in shopping centres. “This enabled us to embark on a strategy of opening up pop-up stores at Christmas which are 10% perfect for our gifting proposition,” he says. “That way, we turned very difficult business conditions into an opportunity to expand.”
Paul is now dealing with the challenges of acquisitions and mergers, particularly in getting the two brands to work together effectively and efficiently. “Currently, the integration of the RED5 business – managing the cultural differences and the practical issues of systems and processes – while ensuring we don’t compromise day-to-day is a big challenge.” Menkind has won awards recognising its growth and innovation, and Paul says he plans to expand the business substantially. “In five years, we will be an international brand and our workforce will expand by 10%.”