In this month’s Talking Shop, Sam Giltrow caught up with Toys N Tuck, Osborne Sports & Toys, Roys Toys and Toys Galore.
Indie retailers told Sam that they have been getting ahead for Q4 in terms of orders, welcoming customers shopping early, shopping local and availing themselves of dedicated advice and support.
At Toys N Tuck in Southend, Emma Dadswell revealed that after a ‘fantastic’ summer, footfall shows no signs of slowing. “Every day has been busy, and we’ve not had a quiet period, even with the kids now back at school. We keep track on our average spend; our sales figures are up by at least 30% on 2019, which is amazing.”
Emma has taken a pragmatic approach to potential stock shortages: “What will be, will be,” she told us. “We are not going to be short of stock, we just may be short of selected lines, which in a sense is always the way, especially with TV advertised lines. Having said that, we are trying to pre-empt any disappointment by bringing in some lines earlier and stocking up on product we think will be hot.”
Will & Libby Osborne, from Osborne Sports & Toys in Rushden, have also enjoyed a very good summer. A traditional toy shop, now in its 66th year, the business prides itself on its local reputation and reliability. Will told us: “I have seen people buying early for Christmas and others asking what our stock will be like. Fortunately, the toy market has a wide breadth of choice.”
The couple is looking forward to meeting up with suppliers and reps again. “It’s much easier to do orders that way, rather than just looking online or through catalogues, which can be very time consuming,” they explained.
In Wroxham, Paul Roy of Roys Toys, was anticipating a highly successful second half. “People are definitely revealing their passion for real world shopping, and we see that preference continuing,” he said. “I encourage staff to explain the pros and cons of different product options to customers, so that we can try and please everyone.”
Paul is another retailer who can’t wait to return to trade shows. “I truly believe the best, and only coherent, way of buying is to see and touch toys in person,” he added.
Meanwhile, Donald Nairn of Toys Galore in Edinburgh has been pleased to see the craze for fidget toys continue and is of the firm opinion that in store shopping can never competely replace online transactions. “Online certainly has a use, but it is not the be all and end all; some lines are just not suited to online purchase,” he explained.
Donald sees problems with stock shortages as an opportunity for independents. “They can stock up and be well prepared,” he told us. “So far, there hasn’t been as much discounting this year; a trend I expect to continue. As long as we have stock, I think this Christmas will be absolutely nuts.”
To find out more, including what each retailer told us is selling well at the moment, read the full article from the October edition of Toy World, here.