February 26, 2014, 11:50 AM

Oriental Trading makes niche healthcare acquisition

Oriental Trading has acquired SmileMakers, a direct marketer of 9,000 toys, stickers and other novelty supplies for healthcare providers, for an undisclosed sum.

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Oriental Trading Co. Inc. wants a bigger presence in medical and dental offices and it’s made an acquisition of a direct marketing firm to gain entry.

Oriental Trading, No. 86 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Top 500 Guide has acquired for an undisclosed sum Spartanburg, SC-based SmileMakers, a business unit of Quill Corp. Quill is a subsidiary of Staples Inc. (No. 2).

SmileMakers is a direct marketer of 9,000 toys, stickers and other novelty supplies for healthcare providers that place their brand, contact information and small marketing message on such products. “SmileMakers is the leading brand catering to the dental and healthcare markets, and this strategic acquisition will help expand the reach of both companies,” says Oriental Trading CEO Sam Taylor. “For example, we plan to enhance SmileMakers’ product offering to their customers through the addition of Oriental Trading products.”

SmileMakers was founded in 1978, and its operations include a fulfillment center in Ontario, Canada, in addition to its principal fulfillment center in South Carolina. The company sells online at SmileMakers.com and through catalogs.

Oriental Trading expects to complete the acquisition by mid-April. This marks the company’s second acquisition in the last 10 months. In June 2013, Oriental Trading acquired Minneapolis-based MindWare, a manufacturer, wholesaler, and direct retailer of educational games, toys, and books for kids.

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