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04/20/2018

Group predicts boom times for local toy stores

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The departure of Toys “R” Us from the retail landscape will give a boost to neighborhood toy shops.

That’s according to the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, which predicted that 2018 will be the best year yet for neighborhood toy stores nationwide as consumers flock to these stores in the wake of the closure of Toys “R” Us.

While acknowledging competition from the likes of Walmart and Target, the group said it believes that the friendly, hands-on setting of local shops will appeal to parents tired of wandering through warehouses or scrolling through websites in search of that perfect toy.

"Many grownup 'Toys 'R' Us kids' are feeling nostalgic, but the magic is still there if you look in the right place," said Kimberly Mosley, president of ASTRA. "We expect that as many as half of all regular Toys 'R' Us customers will likely visit one of the 3,500 neighborhood toy stores across North America in 2018, which would result in up to a 20% increase in revenues."

The group noted key factors driving the boom:

• High-quality selection from the most popular to the most unique products handpicked by the store owners to spark a child's imagination;

• An exceptional customer shopping experience, including expert advice and the opportunity to actually play, experience and use the products; and

• Neighborhood toy stores are part of the community - interacting with families through in store events, holding special classes and giving back to their neighbors.