Sunday, 26 October 2008

Anyone that's looking for Smile Educational products is out of luck! They're not selling to the general public any longer :(

My children were brought up on the great quality and competitive prices of Smile Educational products - but now I'm trying to find the products for my nephews and nieces....
So, I decided to share my findings so that everyone else out there doesn't waste their time....

I've spoken to a couple of the work-from-home consultants and found out that they're no longer selling Smile products to the general public!

The "story" is complicated, but in essence, the company Smile Educational Systems (www.smilesa.co.za) was sold to Media24 (http://www.media24.co.za which owns Nasou Via Afrika www.nasou-viaafrika.com) on 1 April 2007. They also owned Idem that also sold educational toys mainly to government departments.

Bottom of the line, it seems that Nasou have decided that from end Sept 2008, they would no longer sell Idem nor Smile Educational products to the general public, but rather sell only to government - this has left the hundreds of work-from-home consultants in the lurch! Not to mention, the woman-in-the-street, that now needs to find replacement products :(
Makes me think, how can a great business with a huge, self-motivated marketing and sales engine be left to die? How can a company like Smile (http://www.smilesa.co.za/about) that was founded in July 1979 by Doreen Maree and running profitably, be taken over by a large corporate and fail to continue with a winning recipe!!?????


They can't even manage to update their Smile web page (http://www.smilesa.co.za) to tell their former customers that there's no more goodies coming their way!


Wake up Via Afrika! Maybe read your mission statement again and realign your goals going forward:
"
Via Afrika businesses aim to become the leading publishers, sellers and distributors of profitable educational reading, learning, audio and visual products in their respective markets.
"
Now for that huge self-motivated marketing and sales engine: I hear that some enterprising company didn't let a good thing disintegrate into nothing.... a company called "unIQue Kids" - Learn with a smile! has kept the sales team together and is now making inroads into introducing their products to the old Smile market.




Update: Dec 2009: I've found their brand new web site with new product information and online store:
http://playandlearn.comli.com/

The site contains the following info (and more):
Play2Learn Catalogue and pricelists
SucZeZZ Brochure and pricelists
unIQueKids Brochure and priceLists

Based in Cape Town but can ship anywhere (email them for shipping costs)
http://playandlearn.comli.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=20&Itemid=53


12 comments:

  1. Hi
    I am also trying to get hold of Idem Smile since I want to import Smile to Australia. No luck. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 years have gone by since your comment. Is there any updated information where we can get Smile products.

      Delete
    2. It is now three years later and I was wondering if anyone knows any of the latest where we can get Smile products from

      Delete
    3. Hi Maggie

      I believe this contact is still selling:
      Claudia Dozetos cdozetos (at) gmail (dot) com
      (landline) +27 21 713 2141 or
      (cell) +27 82 3434 985

      Delete
    4. The developers of many of Smile's toys have started a brand-new range of educational products. BrainBoosters has a programme of books, toys and parenting skills training for children from birth to 6 years. Visit http://www.brainboosters.co.za/ to get in touch with an agent near you.
      Or phone +27 11 471 0900

      Regards
      BEREN

      Delete
  2. Hi Anonymous

    There is hope... I have now found out that a group of consultants are still alive and well and have managed to negotiate access to the most popular Smile products :)

    They have also managed to supplement this with other manufacturers' products and are selling again.

    So the "new" Smile consultants will be able to provide you with products from "Idem/Smile", and "Play 2 Learn" and "UnIQue Kids".

    Here's a contact person:
    Claudia Dozetos cdozetos (at) gmail (dot) com
    (landline) +27 21 713 2141 or
    (cell) +27 82 3434 985

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is Smile/Idem still exporting it's products overseas?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi, Kids Playground are also selling their products and much more. have a look there www.kidsplayground.co.za Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi,
    We sell Smile products as well as a whole range of other educational products - have a look at our website - www.kiddiejunction.co.za or email karen@kiddiejunction.co.za for more information.
    We also have agents around South Africa.

    Regards
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  7. See Smile and other educational products here too: http://play2learn.co.za

    ReplyDelete
  8. if you are still looking for smile products. you can contact us. we still have some stock left. www.shamalgroup.com we were the official distributor for the products

    ReplyDelete

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