Exclusive: Toy World catches up with Toymaster

Published on: 16th January 2020

Retail manager Brian McLaughlin outlined how 2019 was for the buying group’s members, and what its plans are for Toy Fair. 

Brian McLaughlin, Toymaster’s retail manager

Last year was challenging for retail, as we all know, with independent toy retailers facing their own particular set of challenges. Black Friday arrived a week later than in 2018, pushing sales closer to Christmas, but also landed on payday for many people, meaning there was more expendable income in the market. We asked Brian what the feedback was like from Toymaster members.

“Feedback has certainly been mixed,” he says. “Black Friday landed on payday for many this year, which was a positive compared to 2018, but we have seen varying degrees of success. Some of our members go all-in for Black Friday, from the advertising and signage to the in-store discounts, whereas others will simply make use of the heightened awareness to draw attention to any offers they may be running, pushing through existing deals. Our members can pick and choose their level of Black Friday activity according what suits their business each year.”

Toymaster membership continues to offer numerous benefits for retailers, as Brian explains. “Alongside the support and advice we offer, members working with us can enjoy much easier access to suppliers and special trading terms. Our central invoicing and payment systems mean retailers can spend more time focusing on their business, not their paperwork and invoices. We offer a great window display programme so indie retailers can promote key brands throughout the year, if they want to. Through Toymaster, members can also access FOB ranges which offer higher margins, which they couldn’t get hold of outside of the group. We’re helping our members the same way we always have – by offering unrivalled help and support, tailored to each and every individual retailer. All our members are distinctly different, unlike nationals, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. We work closely with all our members to ensure their customer profile is understood and catered to.”

To find out more, read the full interview with Brian, which was published in the January issue of Toy World magazine. Toymaster will be hosting its Toymaster Lounge at the London Toy Fair in the London Room; attendees interested in discussing membership are invited to make an appointment by emailing Brian on or calling 07887 844996.


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