Exclusive: Rick Derr on introducing new themes instore

Published on: 8th March 2023

In this month’s Letter from America column, Rick discusses rounding out his core toy offering with new product that will appeal to his customer base.

This month, Rick looks at how focusing on the latest trends can help toy retailers diversify to maximise sales in store. One of these trends is tweens; the Learning Express team has recently tied up with new vendor partners and developed a cohesive plan to make a key statement in store.

“The section is roughly 18’ by 16’ to start and cost under $300 to implement,” writes Rick. “While we want to capitalize on this business, we also know we are not going to be a tween retailer powerhouse like Justice, Sugar and Jade, Juicy Couture or Claire’s. But what we can do is offer quality, mid-priced, safe brands that appeal to both parent and child at an affordable price.”

Rick thinks this targeted strategy will yield big results, without forgetting his core toy brands and vendors, and main audience. He shares the results of this new venture so far and explains how he plans to round out the assortment.

“I would love to hear from any UK indies that have started a new section in store – what have been the results both short term and longer term?” he asks. “What are you currently looking to do or test in 2023?”

Rick believes that retailers must continually remind themselves to keep challenging themselves with new ideas, while always remembering what their core business is. “We are a toy store, and we bring joy to kids every day,” he writes. “We must always keep this front of mind.”

To read more, and find out what other key trends Learning Express is looking to exploit more or develop instore, read the full article, which appeared in the March edition of Toy World, here.


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