Exclusive: Toymaster updates operations

Published on: 11th January 2024

Paul Reader, commercial director at Toymaster, spoke with Toy World’s Rachael Simpson-Jones about what the changes to the buying group’s operations will entail.

Toymaster helps independent toy retailers compete in the marketplace. Its mission is to help members trade more profitably by building strong relationships with suppliers, working closely with big name brands and products, securing indie exclusives, and working on a full 12-month marketing programme including window and in-store display materials, promotions and loyalty schemes.

It also produces an annual consumer Christmas catalogue and offers advice on all aspects of toy retailing when required. Its bespoke Toymaster Information Management System (TIMS)streamlines members’ accounts and invoicing, allowing the retailer to run their business efficiently.

Recruiting new bricks & mortar retailers remains a priority to strengthen the group’s position in the market, yet Toymaster recognises that it must adapt, improve its current offering and continue to support its existing members and suppliers.

To this end, Toymaster is turning its attentions back to its FOB (Free On Board) programme. Long a successful mainstay of the group’s strategy, it has mostly hinged upon a spring/summer range previewed in October, delivered in January/February, and an autumn/winter range previewed in March and delivered in August. Paul credits Zuru for changing the group’s outlook on FOB. Its ever-changing, trend-led assortments mean Toymaster needs to take a more year-round approach to FOB lines that, in turn, will provide its members with a higher turnover of new product to tempt shoppers.

“We still have the enthusiasm, energy and desire to make a difference and we want to make a more serious contribution to helping our members trade more profitably,” said Paul. “As a team, we’re proud of how much we’ve listened to our members over the past couple of years. Being at (and understanding what is happening at) the coalface is so important: we want to be getting out there into our members’ stores and hearing that feedback first hand.”

Toy World asked Paul plenty more; to continue reading about Toymaster’s new plans, click here to see the full article from Toy World’s January issue.


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