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A Greeting card company, located in San Diego, California Owner Suzy Spafford, founder and president Started the business in 1960s, working towards her bachelor of fine arts at San Diego state university. To earn extra money for school, she worked summers and weekends at local artmarts creating colorful pastel and water color drawings She sold her drawings for $3 per piece generating $3000 4000 per month

Bill Murr, a Berkley, California, medical instrument manufacturer, saw spaffords work. He propose to team up and start a small greeting card company. Initially Murr funded $600 Spafford created 8 card designs and agreed to 90% (Murr) and 10 % (Spafford) split. Suzy Zoo was officially launched.

Area of distribution
Spafford worked from home, created designs that were shipped to Murr, who supervised the printing then boxed and distributed them to local stationary stores, thse mom and pop stores became the bread and butter. The cards immedately sold well in the Bay area and on a smaller scale in Washington and Oregon. Within 2 years, the cards were selling throughout California Sales increased steadily in initial years.

The company maintained the merchandising policy for sales no fancy, plain, honest business. But in todays environment, to operate under this policy is little more challenging.

Retailers expect deals, discounts, merchandising, and guarantees from the manufacturer to take back unsold stock. Suzys zoo products are sold internationally through licenses, distributors and direct sales.

Participated in trade shows. The two big national shows, national stationery gift show in New York and Los Angeles gift show. The way to expose the product line to different retailers. Also participated in regional trade shows through participation by its sales representatives orgnz.

creative and driving force behind the menagerie of characters that make up Suzys Zoo. Zoo consists of 35 cartoon characters

Companys operations
Human Resource Nonunion operation with approx 50 employees. Minority owner and vice president Mr. Ray lidstorm An office staff of approx 12 is maintained for accounting, marketing, purchasing credit, and customer service functions.

Initial finance was funded by Murr $600 Share of 90% (Murr), and 10% (Spafford)

Currently operating at a two-story, 52000 square foot warehouse/office suite in the Mira Mesa area of San Diego Operations includes product design, marketing, warehousing, and shipping No manufacturing is done on site : rather, manufacturing is accomplished through subcontractors.

Products at Zoo
Greeting cards Coloring books, calendars, gift wrap, party paper. Coffee mugs T-shirts

Market segmentation, targetting and positioning

Segmentation Geographic Psychographic Demographic Behavioral

Porters five forces model

The threat of entry of new competitors (new entrants) the greeting card market is competitive because barriers to entry are very low

The threat of substitutes - low The bargaining power of buyers - high The bargaining power of suppliers - low The degree of rivalry between existing competitors - high

Key Success Factors

Key to early success was to keep the company small enough to produce on demand. No warehousing costs and low overhead allowed to Suzys Zoo to completely turn its inventory three to four times per year, a routine the company still tries to practice. Innovation and creativity are success factors

What lies in future

Hiring talented people who can draw for spafford, she feels that talented people are required to move further. Product Innovtion - Turning the characters into story books, animation, videos Expanding future through joint venture arrangements. Want to attract Disney company for television broadcast of her shows.