Amsterdam stroller makers expanding to meet demandThe strollers, or prams, made by Amsterdam-based companies such as Bugaboo, Easywalker and Joolz are increasingly popular around the world.
Joolz, for example, is expanding to a new office in bustling Amsterdam Noord, where more space is available. As its founder Emile Kuenen explained in De Ondernemer (Dutch link), the company now sells its strollers in 28 countries across Europe, Asia and Australia. This year, the company will be focusing on the United States, where the strollers have been adapted to the local market. For example, the cup-holder is much larger than it is in Europe, and the children have a food tray in front of them. “It's all the little things,” Kuenen said, “but those are very important to win a spot in that market.”
Amsterdam-based stroller brands have also enjoyed popularity with celebrities. As Easywalker CEO Daniel de Lange explained, “Celebrities accelerate your popularity.” Likewise, the established Amsterdam stroller brand Bugaboo benefited greatly from its 3.5 seconds of exposure on the popular television show Sex and The City, as well from pictures of the Bugaboo being used by celebrities such as Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Amsterdam design remains the key selling point
A celebrity endorsement isn’t enough; “A bad product is still a bad product,” said De Lange. “In the long run, quality and authenticity are the most important.”
Bugaboo inventor Max Barenbrug agrees that design matters most. The Bugaboo, for example, owes much of its success to a revolutionary design that combined a crib, a stroller, and a removable seat in one, and this design ethic has very much to do with Amsterdam. “Bugaboo is straightforward and authentic,” Barenbrug said, “making it an Amsterdam brand. And then there is the combination of creative design and business: it’s Dutch sobriety.”