After over 40 years in toy retail, owner Simon Adams has decided to call a halt.
The popular local toyshop will be closing at the end of the month after over three decades in the same location. Simon Adams, who owns the shop alongside his sister Kym Blowers, started out in 1989 and previously ran a toy shop in Ipswich.
Toytown Woodbridge had been managed by Peter Sheldrake for 28 years, before Simon and Kim took over around five and a half years ago. Reaction to the store’s closure from the Woodbridge community has been sad, and Simon told local reporters of a number of reasons for the closure. “Competition from the internet does not do us any favours, and the business rates don’t help,” he explained. “People are very sad, and it’s surprising the people who have come who I have not seen for years.”
Looking back at his time as a retailer, Simon revealed that Sylvanian Families and traditional board games like Monopoly had been perennial best sellers. He has seen changes to consumer behaviour over the years though. “Toys used to be still bought by 12 or 13-year-old children but now, by the time they get to ten, they are getting out of toys. Many children are on their tablets now, they don’t want to play outdoors, they want to sit in,” he added.
John Risby, director of Choose Woodbridge, commented: “Toytown has served generation after generation for more than 30 years and has been a much-loved member of our community in Woodbridge. It is always extremely sad to lose a stalwart business with a long history and affiliation with our town. Our role at Choose Woodbridge is to support independent stores as best we can, to help them weather changes in the retail sector and continue to thrive despite growing competition from chains, big high street brands and internet superstores. We need everyone to continue to support their local businesses or risk losing them altogether.”
Toytown will close for the final time on February 29th, following a closing down sale.