Spielwarenmesse: Celebrating independents on Neighborhood Toy Store Day

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Celebrating independents on Neighborhood Toy Store Day

from ASTRA

On the second Saturday of November each year, independent toy stores all around the world celebrate Neighborhood Toy Store Day. Neighborhood Toy Store Day provides an opportunity for local toy stores to celebrate their community, the shop local message and the magic of play.

Stimulating the neighborhood

toy shop at Neighborhood Toy Store Day

Shopping locally at neighborhood toy stores supports the community by creating jobs and preserving neighborhoods. Compared to chain stores, independent local businesses put a significantly larger share of revenue back into the local economy in the form of taxes, salaries and more. They also support environmental sustainability, by helping to maintain vibrant, walkable town centers, essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

Proximity to the customer pays off

 “In addition, neighborhood toy store owners are the real experts when it comes to choosing toys for kids,” said Kimberly Mosley, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting local toy shopping and creative open-ended playtime for children. “ASTRA established Neighborhood Toy Store Day to recognize the local toy stores’ commitment to their community and store owners who spend time with kids day in and day out. They understand the value of play, and what types of toys will truly engage children.”

Supporting local toy stores

Toy stores don’t have to plan Neighborhood Toy Store Day on their own. All participating member toy stores receive complimentary marketing and event planning support, including downloadable graphics, ready-to-go social media posts, activity sheets, press release templates and plug-and-play event ideas. To help take the event to the next level, ASTRA also provides a listing of vendor specials specific to Neighborhood Toy Store Day with information on securing product specials, giveaway and raffle items, demo kits for activity stations and more. ASTRA also publishes an online listing of all participating toy stores and works with a national public relations firm to get the word out about Neighborhood Toy Store Day and the importance of shopping at local toy stores to as many media outlets as possible.

Supporting local toy stores

Toy stores don’t have to plan Neighborhood Toy Store Day on their own. All participating member toy stores receive complimentary marketing and event planning support, including downloadable graphics, ready-to-go social media posts, activity sheets, press release templates and plug-and-play event ideas. To help take the event to the next level, ASTRA also provides a listing of vendor specials specific to Neighborhood Toy Store Day with information on securing product specials, giveaway and raffle items, demo kits for activity stations and more. ASTRA also publishes an online listing of all participating toy stores and works with a national public relations firm to get the word out about Neighborhood Toy Store Day and the importance of shopping at local toy stores to as many media outlets as possible.

In-store activities and performances 

activities

In 2018, more than 250 toy stores celebrated Neighborhood Toy Store Day by hosting in-store activities and performances, adding charitable components to their events and offering special product discounts and sales to kick off the holiday shopping season. The events range from adding a couple of play stations to scheduling an all-day event. They customize the event to meet the needs of their customers and communities. Ultimately, the point is to give customers a reason to come in and remember local toy stores as a destination for their holiday shopping. The previous year, 46% of participating toy stores saw an increase in sales between 5% and 25% as compared to an average Saturday in November and 16% of participants saw an increase between 30% and 90%.

Providing customers with special shopping experiences

Customer experience is the key success factor today. Our society is moving more and more towards becoming a society that values experiences. What consumers seek are emotions. They wish to experience a product, identify with the business and the brand.

Kimberly Mosley's webcast tells us how businesses can productively integrate customer experience into their retail concept in order to build a lasting relationship with their shoppers.

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