Owner David Middleton says his expectations have been ‘blown out of the water’ after scores of customers descended on his new store, Freak Treat, for its opening weekend.
Independent toy retailer David Middleton is celebrating the hugely successful opening of his third store, Freak Treat.
On the opening Saturday (21st January), Dave said: “I really didn’t know if anyone would care this morning at 7am when I arrived at the Octagon centre. it was pitch black, snow on the ground and an all round dismal January day. After retailing toys for 21 years, this was a risk, something different. The social media beforehand was positive, but would people turn up?”
The 900 square foot store, which is located just opposite Midco Toymaster in the Octagon Shopping Centre, specialises in the older toy and merchandise consumer – including kidults – with everything from t-shirts based on rock and metal bands, horror movies, cult franchises and more, Funko Pop! vinyl collectibles, anime and manga, action figures, licensed dolls such as Chucky, Squishmallow backpacks and totes, pocket money toys, movie props and replicas, and much, much more. The varied and carefully curated selection evidently went down with a treat with shoppers, as Dave explained.
“Oh boy did people turn up,” he said. “As soon as the shutter doors opened, people flocked in and it didn’t let up all day; expectations were blown out of the water. In my opinion, Burton has needed something like this for years and it appears a lot of people have been thinking the same thing. Thank you everyone who’s turned up today and supported us. People have travelled for miles to see us today. Keep supporting your local independent retailers and thank you again everyone.”
Speaking to Toy World’s Rachael Simpson-Jones, Dave expressed his surprise at the Freak Treat sales figures, given that the opening day took place the weekend before payday, and gave thanks to suppliers including Funko and Bandai, whom he highlighted as particularly supportive ahead of the opening. He also said his other two stores, Midco Toymaster and Midco Toy Planet also put in very strong performances. He added: “My life isn’t gonna get any easier, is it?”
Readers can take a look around the store in the below video from local influencer Loucifer, who was given a private tour of Freak Treat before the grand opening.
Some of the first customers to visit Freak Treat also took to social media to share their feedback. Tom Moose wrote: “My daughter loved it. Somewhere to finally spend her Christmas money. There was so much to take in. Think it will be a regular spot for us.” Shane Jordan, meanwhile, simply said: “Best shop on the planet. Love it.”
Like many toy retailers, Dave will this week be walking the halls of Olympia at London Toy Fair, looking for the latest and best toys, games, merchandise and licensed products for his stores. The Toy World team will once again be at the show too, on stand B23: if you’ve got a retail story you think we should cover, please do drop by and see us.