In this month’s Indie Viewpoint, Mark Buschhaus and Stephen Barnes share the latest from Toy Barnhaus, where the pingdemic has affected staff levels recently.
Having counted themselves lucky with how few colleagues have had to isolate so far, at the time of writing, Toy Barnhaus had seen over 15% of its staff absent over a two week period. “Our team has been fantastic in being flexible,” write Mark and Stephen. “They have pulled together to ensure all the stores are covered. We are very grateful that their support ensures Toy Barnhaus has been able to keep serving our customers.”
The column goes on to describe the summer holidays as “great for trade”, with pocket money crazes continuing in popularity. “Anything fidget, squishy, squeezy or slimy is proving difficult to keep in stock.”
Mark and Stephen have missed toy fairs as an aid to making their selections, and feel that choices have had to be made that are perhaps more of a risk that they are used to. “It has been more difficult to get a true feel for potential new bestsellers. But we have cautiously taken a gamble on a few new lines and will keep a close eye to see if there are any early winners. In this digital age, it only takes one YouTube or Tik Tok video to go viral, and demand will rocket almost overnight.”
To read the rest of the column, which shares what other items are selling strongly and more on how the team is starting to prepare for the run up to Christmas, see the September edition of Toy World here.