Historic Norwich store is downsizing after nearly a century in the Royal Arcade.
A historic toy shop in Norwich, which has been serving customers since Victorian times, is to downsize. However, Langleys, which moved into the Royal Arcade in 1925, is not moving far.
Owner Steve Scott told the Norwich Evening News that it is transferring the range of model collections and collectibles, currently housed on the first floor in the current shop, to a smaller unit in the Royal Arcade. Much of the rest of the toy stock, sold from the ground floor area of the shop, will be transferred to Langleys’ other store in Chantry Place.
Langleys, which opened in Norwich in 1883 in Prince of Wales Road by founder James Langley, is the Arcade’s longest serving tenant. In 2019 it was feared Langleys would relocate out of the Arcade altogether but Steve kept the current store despite opening a second in Chantry Place.
He told the Norwich Evening News: “The Arcade without some representation of Langleys would be like Morecambe without Wise and we just couldn’t bear to break ties with this historic venue. However, the consolidation of the two distinct limbs of the business was necessary to enable it to thrive in the post-Covid environment.”
Steve added: ”The more junior toy side of the business is dependent on stable footfall. Chantry provides this and our modern bright and spacious shop set out on one level has been particularly appreciated by mums with prams and those for whom a steep staircase is an unwelcome challenge. The new Royal Arcade shop enables us to bring our specialist models, collectables and ‘geeky’ board games into one dedicated ground floor destination location.”
Langleys current Royal Arcade shop will close on Sunday 6th June and the new shop will open that week.
James Langley, a local businessman, opened the first Langleys toyshop in 1883 in Prince of Wales Road and later bought out his competitor Galpins Toyshop in the Royal Arcade in 1925 to open his second store. Langleys was taken over by local entrepreneur Tom Fielding in 1971, and the store went on to be run by John Fielding. He retired in 2015.
Current owner Steve Scott has run Langleys since and his aim has always been to keep a presence in the Royal Arcade.