Toy World caught up with Duffy’s Toyworld, Brown’s Toy Shop and Toy Galaxy in this month’s Talking Shop where indie retailers share the latest about their stores.
With the summer season in full swing, Tony Duffy at Duffy’s Toyworld in Ireland, David Brown from Brown’s Toyshop in Scotland and Sam Gascoigne from Toy Galaxy in the South East revealed what’s selling, how they are attracting footfall and what plans they are putting in place for the run up to Christmas.
Tony explained that his shop in Dunleer specializes in toys focused on imagination, creation and kids’ development, meaning that this stores best-sellers aren’t the usual players. He said: “What makes us unique is that we focus on selling items which are educative or sensory. We cater for all ages of kids and we are a particularly helpful place for parents of children with autism. Customers are prepared to travel to visit the store because we can offer specialist toys which are difficult to find at superstores.”
He explained how the cost of living is motivating parents to buy products with longevity and play value – an area which Duffy’s is strong in. He also spoke about what Brexit meant for his imports and stock selection.
David in Bonnybridge opened his shop only a year ago and it has been going well so far. He said: “In April, as we reached our first birthday, sales had been pleasantly high for the first three months of the year. They slowed a bit after Easter, but fortunately picked up again in June. Quite a few customers told me that they were able to spend more in June because they had paid off their summer holidays and had more disposable income once again.”
David is looking to hold Additional Support Needs days for children with learning disabilities. This idea was inspired by his son who has autism and finds the crowds and noise of shopping quite overwhelming. He has also been bringing in more licensed ranges in line with movies, which have been boosting sales.
Toy Galaxy has various shops around Hertfordshire and bestsellers at the moment are Disney 100 merchandise, Pokémon cards, Squishmallows and L.O.L. Surprise! balls.
Sam explained that the cost of living has made it a challenging year but that Pocket Money and pick-up lines have become more popular. The team has been trying new ranges such as Plus-Plus, which has been successful.
He said: “There has been a big increase in customers looking for lower price points; £9.99 lines are a lot more popular than the high-ticket items. Many customers are saving higher value products for special occasions – however, lines like L.O.L. and Mini brands are performing well. Our impulse and pick-up ranges work perfectly for parents looking for a little treat; lines like slime putty and small sensory toys.”