Wigwam Toys in Brighton to shut up shop

Published on: 18th May 2023

Family-run toy store Wigwam Toys is set to close for good as owners Clair Letton and Jesse Marshall decide its time for a change.

According to local paper, The Argus, Wigwam Toys is set to close. The owners of the toy shop in Fiveways, Brighton, have made the decision to shutter following what they describe as a tough period for the retail sector over the last few years.

The store’s website said the company is unable to fulfil online orders, and, in a statement posted on the window of the store, owners Clair Letton and Jesse Marshall thanked friends and customers who have supported the business since they began running the store in 2013.

It said: “The past few years have been hard on retail and, after some reflection, we have decided it’s time for us to move on to different things. It’s been an amazing 10 years and we will certainly miss being a part of the Fiveways community.

“We’ve made friends, seen babies born and grow into children. We’ve been there for rewards after first days at school or a visit to the dentist, for Friday treats and weekend birthday parties. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to see your families grow and we have found great satisfaction in sourcing toys, games and activities that we hope you’d enjoy.”

The Wigwam team all have creative backgrounds, which impacted buying decisions for the store, as well as the way that goods are presented. “We appeal to customers through the shop itself,” Clair explained in an article in Toy World. “It’s very colourful with a great sense of drama and theatre. People enjoy the experience of shopping with us as we think carefully about every element, from the music we play to the colours in store.”

The store was shortlisted in the UK’s inaugural Small Business Awards in 2017. Clair and Jesse have always been passionate about the role of small businesses and how they impact positively on the local community. “It is a real honour to work in such close contact with those who live around us and to know that what we do matters to our community,” Clair told reporters at the time.

The British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) also shortlisted the store as a finalist for the Toy Retailer of the Year Awards in 2022.

The Argus reports that Wigwam Toys will remain open on Thursdays and weekends “for the foreseeable future” while Clair and Jesse look for new owners or tenants for the building.


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