Independent toy retail chain Toy Barnhaus has recently opened up its seventh store.
The shop – in the Swan Walk centre in Horsham – opened its doors last month and will go through a trial period up to January before the indie decides on a permanent stay.
“This one is a trial one, like a Christmas pop up. We’re there until the end of January, but obviously if things are going well, we’ll stay,” co-owner Mark Buschhaus told ToyNews.
“That’s generally what we do with a lot of our shops. We test the water first before going on a long-term basis. It’s a good way of testing the market and seeing what it’s like.
“We’ll settle in, trade through Christmas and see how it goes.”
The new store is taking over what was previously a Hawkins Bazaar unit, and Buschhaus believes a mall site, not too far from another Toy Barnhaus, is an ideal space for a toy retailer.
“It’s about picking the right area, going in with the right shops and we generally like to go into malls where the footfall is.
“If you put your store in there, you’ve got half a chance of succeeding if you’ve got the right product in there at the right price,” he added.
“It’s only about six miles from one of our existing shops and we’ve had quite a following in Crawley, so we thought as we actually drive through Horsham to get to our Worthing store, it made perfect sense.”
With seven stores already, is this the last Toy Barnhaus opening of 2013 or are more shops in the pipeline?
Buschhaus continued: “We knew that the Toymaster had closed at the other end of town and I knew the guys well.
“We thought there might be an opportunity over Christmas to see if we can make it work.
“We always say we’re not doing any more but if the opportunity arises, it’s always worth looking at.”