The Manchester-based toy retailer, Giddy Goat Toys has billed its decision to join the Down Your High Street platform as the ‘one that saved her business from permanent closure’ over the course of the pandemic.
Shop owner, Amanda Alexander has championed the platform for fuelling toy sales throughout the country’s lockdowns, helping the independent toy shop to its “best month ever” for sales last April when business ‘went through the roof.’
Up until then, Alexander had been concerned that her business – one that prior to Covid-19 saw the majority of sales made in-store – would not survive the pandemic and that Giddy Goat Toys would be among the many stores forced to close for good.
“We went from worrying that the business may have to close, to having our best month ever – and all thanks to the team at DownYourHighStreet,” said Alexander.
Founded by Dan Whytock, DownYourHighStreet is a free to join, low commission marketplace that is currently “on a mission to create the world’s longest high street” by connecting communities with ecommerce. Its premise is to ‘give the Great British High Street an online presence.’
The site currently hosts thousands of products that were previously unavailable online, from hundreds of independent retailers.
Alexander originally joined the platform in 2019 where she initially found business to be ‘a nice little extra.’ However, by April 2020, and with the surge on online shopping driven by the pandemic and government restrictions put in place, it was generating the majority of her business, keeping Giddy Goat Toys from permanent closure.
“Out sales started to hit £4,00 to £5,000 per month,” said Alexander. “We were rushed off our feet and utterly thrilled. The feedback we got from DYHS customers reflected that they liked being able to buy off an independent business.
“In particular, they loved that they could actually speak to me via the phone if they needed advice, or receive an email response to any stock or delivery queries quickly.
“DownYourHighStreet saved my business. The online sales generated enough to cover the revenue we lost when we had to close the shop for lockdown.”
The increase in business online also meant that Alexander had to recruit extra people to help the shop once it re-opened after the country’s first lockdown, as the Giddy Goat Toys owner now had online and in-store business to operate.
Dan Whytock, founder of DownYourHighStreet, said: “Working with indie retailers like Amanda is what we love doing. Every small shop needs an online presence but trying to create and manage that yourself can be prohibitive.
“Since the start of the first lockdown we have signed up over 200 independent retailers to the platform and helped to save many of them from having to close permanently – which would be a disaster for our High Streets.
“You can’t join DownYourHighStreet unless you have a physical shop. We believe that the omni-channel approach is the one that wil help keep our High Streets alive, ensuring they thrive and remain great places to shop locally.”