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The Vermont Teddy Bear Co Inc Challenges Facing a New CEO Introduction Vermont Teddy Bear Company was founded in 1981 by John Sorinto selling handsewn bears out of a pushcart in the streets of Burlington Vermont Since this time the companys focus has been to design manufacture and direct market the best teddy bears made in America using quality American materials and labor Until 1994 Vermont Teddy Bear experienced a great deal of success and profitability Problems arose in 1995 Since 1995 the company has had two CEOs It changed its name to The Great American Teddy Bear Company and then changed it back to The Vermont Teddy Bear Company when customers got confused The Vermont Teddy Bear Company had been known for its Bear-Gram delivery service In 1996 the company decided to shift emphasis away from Bear-Grams to other distribution channels By 1998 the company decided to renew its emphasis on Bear-Grams Vermont Teddy had always been proud of the fact that its teddy bears were made in America with American materials and craftsmanship In 1998 the company changed this philosophy by exploring the offshore sourcing of materials outfits and manufacturing in an effort to lower costs In October 1997 Elisabeth Robert assumed the title of President and Chief Executive Officer and began to cut costs and position the company for future growth According to Robert their competitors were the people who sold chocolates flowers and greeting cards They target the last minute shopper who wants almost instant delivery Gift purchases accounted for more the 90 of the Companys sales External Factors Larger manufacturing facility will enable the company to produce bears in bulk and to enter into larger sales agreements with retail establishments Bear Grams was the reason the company became successful The company tried to improve the way business was done by relying on retail sales Retail stores were needed to be in the
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