We spoke to a number of indie toy retailers for our February issue about how the festive season panned out for them.
Always looking keep its finger firmly on the pulse of the UK toy industry, February’s Talking Shop aimed to provide a reflection of the mood from a variety of retailers up and down the country. We asked one simple question – How was Christmas for you? – and while one retailer declined to take part, stating that ‘they would have to be too negative’, all others reported a positive trading period and an optimistic outlook coming into 2020.
In Brighton, Wigwam Toys reported a better than expected Christmas period thanks to the launch of its new website. “Our new website has almost doubled what we were previously selling, though that did mean there was the odd time when we were selling more online than we were in the shop itself,” explained Benjamin Rowling. “All in all, the whole festive period was fantastic.”
Lee and Sarah Borastero felt the positive effects of the #ShopLocal mentality in Wells, with happy customers enjoying Kids Stuff’s comprehensive range of family favourites and hot properties. Alongside strong offers from Orchard Toys, Lego and Playmobil, the pair reported success with traditional board games such as Cluedo and Mousetrap. “Spirograph was another firm favourite,” the couple told Toy World. “They always say the old ones are the best.”
The Trading Post in Kingsbridge reported similar success, in part down to efforts to increase support for local businesses. “Spending in November was cautious, but the outcome of the General Election seems to have provided some clarity and confidence, meaning our customers were at last happy to get on with shopping for Christmas as they normally would,” says Julia Wingate. “As a town, we’re very proactive in getting people to shop locally and be mindful where they spend their money. The community here has been very responsive to that; the messaging has proved effective and has definitely helped the town centre remain relevant and successful.”
To read the full Talking Shop feature, which was published in our February issue, click here.