Shopkeepers are branching out opposite each other in Stroud to create a better offering for customers, while Fun Junction is currently refurbishing its Buckinghamshire property and hopes to open during the Easter holiday.
In Stroud, Gloucestershire, Simon Powell of fashion store Brilliant Disguise and Pete Blythe of Cornflower and Calico on the other side of the high street want shoppers to use the area more. Simon is set to open The Toy Shop opposite Brilliant Disguise, while Pete has just opened Ripcord, opposite Cornflower and Calico and two doors up from Brilliant Disguise. The Toy Shop will stage a special opening night on Thursday April 10 with fizz, sweets and a 20% discount.
Pete said Ripcord should fill a gap in the market. It stocks everything from unicycles to juggling clubs to kites to scooters and more. “I have always felt there was a market for teenagers in Stroud,” he said. “We had a good store, the Shiny Bead Company, in the shop up until before Christmas but after it moved out, I thought it was time to act. It’s big boys’ and girls’ toys really. It’s doing fine and we’re already building up a good following.”
Meanwhile Fun Junction, a toy shop which sells educational and informative toys, is currently refurbishing its Swains Lane property in Buckinghamshire and hopes to open during the Easter holiday. The shop has been in business for 14 years and in its second year of trading won the award for High Wycombe’s independent business of the year.
The shop is now leaving its former premises in Beaconsfield, but the shop has been in the Wycombe area before and was more recently homed in the Eden Centre. As well as selling a variety of toys, there will also be an old-styled sweet shop inside. The ‘mini-shop’ will have sweets in glass jars and buyers will be able to weigh their sweets.
Jane Davies, owner, said: “Sophie’s sweet shop will be like a shop within a shop – it is named after my daughter Sophie. The toys are from birth to about the age of 12, but the sweets are for everybody, any age.”
Despite facing a market which is now heavily internet-based, Jane believes there is nothing quite like buying toys from a shop. She said: “I like having a shop more than being internet-only, it is not as personal or fun, I would just be at home packing boxes all day.”
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