Toys are playing a pivotal role in the future of business for UK electronics specialist Maplin.
Over the last year, the retailer – which deals in all electrical equipment from lithium batteries to app controlled robots – has seen toy sales grow by 150 per cent.
The business has now outlined its plans to expand its offering and introduce new kids’ toys, as well as a new range of hobby products targeted at adults, with more in-store space dedicated to the growing category.
“We are enjoying phenomenal growth in toys this year. Our year to date sales have grown by 150 per cent year on year,” Alphonse Madamombe, senior category buyer at Maplin told ToyNews.
“We are seeing particular success in RC air products, driven by drones, and have expanded our ride-on offering this year, which has been very well received by our customers.
“The business has now offered me a third additional space in large stores to expand our range for next year on the back of the success seen this year.”
In store, Maplin currently offers an extensive selection of radio controlled helicopters, quadcopters and cars, as well as electronic games and puzzles.
The firm is now looking to the current trend in radio controlled drones to propel it into another successful year in 2015.
“There has been a lot of PR around drones and customers have been sharing their videos, driving awareness of our range,” continued Madamombe.
“We are also expanding our reach by attending events such as air shows and motoring events with our Maplin Battle bus, promoting toys among other ranges.”
The electronics retailer believes that with its intense focus on radio controlled toys, Maplin can differentiate itself from other High Street retailers.
“We are the only retailer on the High Street selling £1,000 drones,” explained Madamombe.
“So, we are definitely establishing our authority within RC toys and becoming a destination of choice to most customers due to the breadth of our range and our customer service guarantees.”
Madamombe also believes that by increasing footfall and driving further sales of toys, the retailer will be able to create more customer awareness of its related lines.
“Toys will continue to play a pivotal role in the future of our business,” he said.
“They not only drive footfall but also contribute to the awareness of other ranges like educational electronics, as well as batteries to go with most of the toys.”
The company has also revealed its plans to bring more products online, with more online content and videos, devised to help bridge the gap between store and web sales.
“The majority of our sales are from stores due to the nature of our toys as most customers would want to touch and feel the products first,” Madamombe continued.
“However, we are projecting that to shift going forward as we are bringing more products online as part of our extended range.”