An independent toy shop specialising in wooden and plush products is moving into Rochdale, marking the first time the area has had a local toy shop in the last 15 years.
ToysARoo will be opening the doors of its first brick and mortar store this weekend as it takes up residence in the St Mary’s Gate area with a grand opening featuring superhero meet and greets, and face painting for kids.
Owned by the husband and wife team, Taff and Karen Ahmed, the store opening will mark a step change for the pair who until now has been mainly trading recycled and pre-loved toys on eBay and at baby sale events locally.
The pair decided to utilise their ten year experience in toy selling to set up their first retail outlet under the name ToysARoo. Recognising the local area’s demand for an independent toy shop, Ahmed believes the opening will bring life into the high street.
“At present, there is no specialist toy shop in Rochdale and there hasn’t been for about ten to 15 years, maybe even longer,” Ahmed told ToyNews. “The shop will hopefully give people another place where they can purchase toys, which is a family run local independent retailer, and help with the local economy.”
Ahmed’s endeavour arrives at an interesting time for the UK’s High Streets. The latest reports suggest that shopper footfall has fallen to its lowest figures in seven years, while shops, pubs and restaurants are lying empty at the fastest rate in a decade. Online shopping has been labelled as a major factor of the drop.
However, ToysARoo is one of the many independents looking to adapt to changing consumer habits by providing a local service.
“We will offer a place where consumers can come and physically see the products before they buy, and we will offer areas in the shop where children can actually play,” continued Ahmed.
“We will also be offering in-shop incentives on a regular basis to attract customers into the shop and also the high street.”