Toys Bouncing Back

Amid the gloomy talk among retailers of rising interest rates, high fuel and gas costs, supply problems and staff shortages at least one sector of the market is seeing signs of an upturn. Following on from a sales boom during the last twelve months The Toy Retailers Association is predicting a 10% increase in the number of high street toy shops opening in the next two years.

With families being forced to spend more time together at home, as well as taking staycation holidays in the UK during the covid pandemic, keeping the children entertained has been a priority. An increased awareness of their high street shops and the desire to see local businesses flourishing has brought new shopping experiences to families, where parents and children can browse at their leisure and take newly-bought items home with them. For many this is a totally new experience, completely different from looking at products on a screen, choosing what they want, but then having to wait impatiently until the item is delivered.

Alan Simpson, chairman of the Toy Retailers Association, also highlighted safety concerns as another reason for the increased interest in local toy shops, commenting: “Parents love the fact that we are very hot on safety. We are hyper-vigilant. Sadly, online has rogue elements that have got involved and bogus toys have surfaced.”

Although there are currently around 600 toy shops in the UK, down by a third from the 900 sites of five years ago, the Association is confident that we will see more and more retailers opening their doors. Even the much-missed giant Toys “R” Us is predicted to be making a comeback to UK retail parks. Now owned by a US investment firm the company is said to be recruiting staff prior to a UK re-launch, although no dates or locations have been announced so far.

Alan Simpson concluded: “There are many others in retail suffering, but toy stores have done very well in the past couple of years. People love having a local toy shop and seeing children’s eyes light up when they come in and see the range of toys on offer.”

Bretherton Law has been serving people and businesses in Hertfordshire for over 50 years. If you are buying or selling business premises, looking to lease a new property, or subject to a rent review our experienced Commercial Property team will give you honest, professional advice. Contact Osman Dervish on 01727 869293, or email via the contact form.