In this month’s Talking Shop, our indies took a break from their busy shop floors to speak to Suzie Sparkes and Sam Giltrow about pre-Christmas trading.
Robert Gliddon, from Gliddons Toymaster, Sidmouth tells us he is in a much better position than last year when he had to contend with all kinds of stock problems and delays with containers in the run up to Christmas.
Gliddons was very grateful to receive a Toymaster 25 Year Award recently, and rather than thinking about retiring, Robert remains focused on his business. “I believe it’s important not to slash prices as all that does is to devalue the market; people won’t accept prices going back up again later.”
At The Collector’s Universe in Leeds, Adam Marshall tells us that trading has been encouraging since his shop opened on 22nd October. He is also working on a website, and hopes to eventually expand and look at opening additional premises in York and/ or Sheffield.
Meanwhile, over in Jersey, John Testori of Bambola Toymaster, St Helier, has opened a new hobby shop in October, next door to the existing shop which has been trading for 18 years. John describes his business now as: “a core toy shop catering for younger children, and a hobby shop, aimed at older children and adults.”
“I am confident we will have a good Christmas trading period but think it will be a challenge getting customers through the door after Christmas,” he adds.
Mike Slocombe of Watkin Toys, Taunton says being a Toymaster member has been a huge help to keeping stock topped up. Another recent recipient of a 25 years award, the shop is actually celebrating 28 years this year, having missed the anniversary because of the pandemic. At nearly 80, Mike says he is very grateful to those customers who are choosing to come into the shop and spend their hard-earned cash.
In this month’s Indie Viewpoint column, Mark Buschhaus and Stephen Barnes of Toy Barnhaus have also found trading to be ‘encouraging’. “October finished strongly with a good half term week,” they write, “and early November has held up well against strong figures from 2022. We are hopeful that the final few weeks of the year will be better than 2021.
“Our online business is performing well too,” they tell us, “which means we have different options to move stock – for example, something that has had sluggish sales in the store can often sell a lot better online.”
To find out which lines are contributing to sales across all of our contributors, read the full article, which appeared in the December edition of Toy World, here.