This month, a young start-up toy retailer asks the Good Toy Guide's head of retailer relations, Lucy Moody, what they can do to make a splash in the toy market.

Good Toy Guide: Getting a Good start

The team at the Good Toy Guide and Fundamentally Children has been answering our questions for a number of years now.

So, we decided it was high time that we allowed you to ask the industry’s experts the questions that mattered the most to you.

This month, Dr. Amanda Gummer gives way to Fundamentally Children’s head of retail relations, Lucy Moody, to offer expert advice to a start-up indie retailer, looking to make a splash in the industry.

We are a young, start-up indie toy retailer, new to the industry and looking to make a splash in the market. What advice can you offer and what services do you provide for retailers in our situation?

It is always great to see new retailers coming to the market, especially opening up on the High Street (which I assume you are) where the smaller independents are seemingly being pushed out.

It is a competitive market out there, but staying current and offering something different will help you to drive sales and attract people into your store.

Having spoken to so many retailers and consumers in my role at Good Toy Guide, it seems that what stands out as an important factor to get right, is the experience people get when they visit a store.

Having a fun and interactive approach where children can come and have a really magical time, surrounded by great toys, will offer consumers so much more than just a general toy shop designed for little more than browsing and paying.

It’s always difficult to highlight the value of a toy while it sits in a box on a shelf, so why not get one out for children to engage with? This is a great way to help you demonstrate how great they actually are.

We have hosted many in-store play days and in the majority of cases the stores have completely sold out of the toy that was being demonstrated by our team of experts. So, you could always book a play day with us and watch how they are done.

Stocking ‘good toys’ is essential, and staying up to date with new products to the market will help to encourage people to visit again and again to see the latest toys. Choosing products that offer great play value and longevity will also encourage the parents and carers.

The Good Toy Guide is often used by retailers as their buying guide and is a totally free service that we offer. Check out www.fundamentallychildren/good-toy-guide to see all the current toys.

Furthermore, the Good Toy Guide offers several other services to retailers in similar positions to yourselves. We offer support through the set up of your store and can give you as much advice as you need. Take a look at our retailer pages and stay in contact with us online.

For now, however, I will leave you with this parting nugget of advice from the renowned psychologists, Pfeffer, Fong, Cialdini and Portnoy: “Research shows that having independent, expert commentary is proven to increase favourability ratings on every scale in comparison to a person or business blowing its own trumpet and is second only to recommendation from a friend or family member.”

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