NEWS offers opportunity to suppliers while shops are shut

Published on: 27th March 2020

Exclusive: Toy World spoke to the successful specialist online toys and games retailer.

Dan McKay, head of digital.

In a recent press-release, revealed the huge surge in traffic and sales it has experienced as parents and kidults across the nation find fun ways to keep themselves occupied during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. With families under orders from the UK government to stay at home unless venturing out is essential, the online world has become a lifeline for many, and not just when it comes to ordering food and keeping in touch with isolated relatives. With the majority of UK kids also unable to attend school, toys and games are proving the perfect way to keep little ones learning and occupied.

“Painting is proving a popular choice; our Paint Station line is performing really well,” Dan McKay, head of digital, tells Toy World. “Classic board games were always going to be a winner in a situation like this, as well as sticker books and colouring activities.”

Senior buyer Alex Woolfstein adds that lower-priced lines are selling very strongly, most likely due to pressures on income and uncertainty regarding the length of time kids may need to be at home for. “A lot of consumers appear to be buying £1.99 sticker books and not spending a penny more,” he says. “This is great, as they’re getting exactly what they need with free delivery too. We’re also seeing sales of products with added value content, like science kits, Canal Toys’ DIY slime sets or Interplay’s Fairy Garden products.

These products offer a progressive style of play with something to be kept and enjoyed at the end. The Fairy Garden range also offer continuity; every day, kids can go and check on the growth of their seeds and flowers. We’re also seeing a massive surge in outdoor toys. We carry a huge range of Hedstrom toys and Kickmaster, plus licensed bikes and scooters, all of which are proving extremely popular. Combined with the lovely weather we’ve been having, it’s a great time for this category.”

Alex Woolfstein, senior buyer

Both note that this period is likely to be causing toy and game suppliers serious concerns. With all non-essential business under orders to close temporarily, the bricks & mortar route into consumer’s hands has all but totally dried up. However, as Dan and Alex explain, this is where online specialists like can step in. A reactive and agile business model means the company can move quickly on shipments, helping to ease the pressure on manufacturers and suppliers with full warehouses and products that need to be moved.

“All suppliers at the moment are likely to be fairly concerned by the current situation,” says Alex. “Although online retail plays a large part in the toy industry, most sales are through bricks & mortar. Even with physical stores that don’t have a strong online presence, you’re still talking a 70/30% split. This is therefore obviously a worrying time. We’re making sure that we’re staying in close contact with all our suppliers, letting them know that we are open for business and always looking out for stock. We can offer a very quick turnaround on things, so if a supplier has a particular line they want us to take a look at, which needs to be moved on swiftly, then we’re urging them to get in touch – we’re taking deliveries as quickly as we can. We’re aware that suppliers’ warehouses are a lot fuller than they should be, so we’re keen to maintain an agile, mutually beneficial relationship with them. If you think you’ve got something we should take a look at, let us know.”

With the lockdown likely to continue for at least a couple more weeks, according to conservative estimates, and with the level of demand for arts & crafts, outdoor toys, board games and educational toys at an all-time high, says now is the ideal time to see how the company can help get products into the hands of consumers that need them.

If you would like to get in touch with, please email Alex –


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