Leicester-based Dominoes Toys is on target for its best Christmas ever, thanks in part to James May’s Toy Stories.
The BBC TV series has helped spark a classic toys and games revival with Airfix, Scalextric, Lego, Hornby and Meccano now appealing to a new generation of children.
Steven Sansom, chairman of Dominoes Toys commented: “The interest created in these toys by James May’s programme has made a big difference to our sales, with trading for this December up by 167 per cent on the same month last year. In fact our Lego sales alone have more than doubled this December compared with the corresponding period of 2008.
“As a business which has always specialised in traditional toys and games we are benefiting greatly from this revival as parents shop for the well loved names featured in the TV series this Christmas.
“Like James May we firmly believe in persuading children away from their PlayStations and computer screens to play with toys and games.”
Recent refurbishment of the retailer’s High Street store premises in Leicester, including the addition of a new nursery department, has also helped boost sales.
Dominoes also acquired MailOrderExpress.com in March. Operating from 8am to 8pm it too is also reporting strong sales in its first December of trading as part of Dominoes Toys.
With combined turnover expected to grow from £2.1 million in 2008 to £3.6 million in 2009, the firm will be taking on more permanent employees and temporary staff over the next 12 months.
Sansom added: “Our own 50 staff and the temporary employees make a huge contribution to our business’s success and we could not achieve our aims without them.
“At our peak in the run up to Christmas we are currently employing about 100 people in total, with Barker Ross supplying around 26 temporary pickers and packers in our warehouse as well as additional staff in our store and offices.”
And with Dominoes carrying around £1.6 million of stock, Sansom is hopeful of avoiding the toy shortages predicted by some toy sector specialists: “We carry a wide range of stock – with our mail order business serving customers worldwide – but having said that, sales are going well so customers are advised to shop sooner rather than later if possible.”
The Hornby episode of the TV series will air again on Christmas day on BBC at 7pm.