AIS set for second spring showcase

Toy buying group hopes to build on last year's debut show with second buyers' event at Cranmore Park HQ.
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AIS’ toy buying group Play-Room will host its second Play-Room at the Park show this month, looking to build on last year’s inaugural event.

This year’s show will take place from April 20th-21st at Cranmore Park, Solihull and, with the increase in membership, plus initiatives which have been put in place to boost visitor numbers, the Play-Room team believes the event will become a cornerstone of the independents’ buying calendar.

The show is open to all independent toy retailers. Those interested in attending can register at www.cranmorepark.co.uk/events.php

The site features toy suppliers who have already booked to attend the show and are listed with links to their own websites. AIS is keen to encourage any independent retailers that might be interested in membership to take the opportunity of visiting the show.

Based at Cranmore Park, just off junction four of the M42 near Solihull, facilities include a contemporary conference and exhibition centre.

The buying group utilises the strengths of its parent company, AIS, which is the largest non-food buying group in the UK, including in-house services such as marketing and IT, plus 50 department stores with well-established toy departments.

Members can also use the AIS central payment agent, Cenpac, which can process upwards of 23,000 invoices every week.

In addition, members have access to their own members.net through which marketing materials can be accessed and they receive a weekly newsletter containing trading updates, product offers and progress reports. Suppliers signed up to Cenpac receive a monthly newsletter.

Toy division manager, Miles Penhallow, told ToyNews: “Forming new buying groups became quite the vogue following the demise of Youngsters in the Spring of 2008.

"Contenders such as Magsons and Leading Edge struggled to become established in the challenging financial climate of 2008 and only Play-Room emerged into 2009 as a credible force within the industry; the first new toy buying group to be successfully established in the UK for decades.”

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