Caversham toy and book store, WordPlay is to close its doors for the final time at the end of the month, citing a drop in footfall and decline in sales.
While the lease on the shop doesn’t expire until next February, owner Deirdre Smith has explained that she does not want to be left selling unwanted Christmas stock at ‘rock bottom prices,’ in the New Year.
Smith made the decision to shut up shop following a tough year of trading that has seen many of her regular customers take-up part-time jobs, leaving less time for shopping, as well as the rise in popularity of the likes of Minecraft and Disney’s Frozen.
Speaking with Get Reading, Smith said: “It’s hard to sell toys to boys now, with all the Fifa and Minecraft. And Disney’s Frozen has put paid to our girls’ market. We didn’t sell any tiaras for about a year.”
Smith has run the local book and toy shop for the last five years and has been met with sympathy from local customers who are sad to see her leave. She will now return to her former career as a lawyer.
The 50-year old admits that the failings of the store emerged from its lack of online presence, adding that there was room for a shop like hers in the area, but would need to be operated on a different business model, with online sales and someone with more social media awareness.
WordPlay is set to close on September 30th.