Owner of York Toymaster outlines reasons behind its demise

Published on: 7th May 2019

James Colclough was a director of York Toymaster, which traded for two and a half years on Market Street.

York Toymaster when it first opened in 2016.

The independent toy store York Toymaster, has been forced to close due to “extremely challenging trading conditions in York.”

“Sadly, the very high costs of operating in York drove our decision to move rapidly to protect our other stores,” explained James Colclough. An experienced retailer who runs a number of toy shops, James believed York would be right for his business. “As a small business we have traditionally had great success in bustling market towns and tourist locations which led us to believe York would be an ideal progression,” he told YorkMix.

“However the stark reality is that whilst York attracts many visitors with its heritage and incredible offer, we have noticed that our target shoppers including young families seem to prefer the out of town options – especially residents of York,” James explained. “I believe one issue is parking; this week I paid £30.90 to stay for a full day in the Castle Car Park, whilst it can be free at York Designer Outlet. In addition we found that Saturdays, normally our busiest day, was flat as shoppers were deterred by party-goers including stag and hen parties, which don’t really allow for families to enjoy the York experience comfortably and safely.”

With a business rates bill of over £3,300 per month, James also notes that the location was not providing adequate value for money, despite all the events that happen in York city centre. The closure of the store meant the loss of seven part-time jobs.

James said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the customers who have shopped with us, especially the children who enjoyed spending their pocket money. Particular thanks are also due to the fantastic and dedicated team of people that ran the York store.”

He said they wouldn’t be looking to open elsewhere in York, and instead “have chosen to relocate to a smaller market town”, as yet unconfirmed.


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