Toy World’s Sam Giltrow and Suzie Sparkes caught up with indie retailers to see how trading is going so far in Q4.
The indie retailers tell us that they are keeping a close eye on their stock levels and consumers seem to have started shopping for Christmas already.
Jon Scrivens, of Hamlins, Berkhamsted, explains how they are located on the high street and have regular customers; he says it is very encouraging to see that people are appreciating their local shops more and making the most of them. He says: “In terms of spending this year, people seem OK to pay out what they were planning to on the ‘big presents’ but will maybe spend less on stocking fillers – they’re looking for quality over quantity. Father Christmas will bring the items on the list but maybe not put quite so much in the stockings.”
Will Osborne, of Osborne Sports & Toys, Rushden, says that sales are starting to ramp up for Christmas already. He explains: “We have always run a Christmas Club and this year it very quickly became more popular than it has been for a long time; I think customers who are concerned about the economy are conscious that they will need to spread the cost over a few months.”
Nicky Tossell, of Youings Barnstaple, tells us that they are lucky to have a great location at the bottom of the High Street and receive a lot of footfall. She comments: “We have dramatically increased our range of Lego; we now have a whole wall of it in the store and are now one of the biggest stockists in the area. We are incredibly proud of it – there is nowhere locally which can match our range which makes us a destination for avid fans of the brand.”
She tells us that for Christmas this year, she has kept her stock quite tightly under control, placing smaller orders more frequently: “Our suppliers have been incredibly helpful by offering us carriage paid and allowing us to do smaller orders, which really is beneficial.”
Meanwhile, in the regular Indie Viewpoint column, the Toy Barnhaus team says the big focus for the end of November will be Black Friday, which they think will be more important than ever this year. The chain will have extra offers to feature for the event and will run these over a period of two weeks.
Click here to see what’s selling for our indies and to discover more in the full Talking Shop feature from November’s Toy World.