Indies flock to Toymaster show 2013 - ToyNews

Indies flock to Toymaster show 2013

Over 100 non-members are expected to attend the sell-out Harrogate event for independent retailers.
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More non-member retailers will be attending the Toymaster show 2013 than previous years.

With over 100 non-members expected and the 165 hotel rooms available for Tuesday night already sold out, Toymaster’s operations director, Ian Edmunds discussed the buzz around the show.

“We have more non-members pre-registered than we had last year with more independents,” Edmunds told ToyNews.

“We are looking forward to another good year for the show.”

The three-day event held in Yorkshire is one of the most popular in the UK among indie retailers, highlighting key lines.

“The Toymaster show is a very important buying event in the calendar,” said Bhav Patel, managing director of Toy Galaxy.

“It lets us see what’s being promoted in the media and which lines are being put in to the Toymaster catalogue, one of the most important marketing initiatives we independents rely on.”

It’s also the place for many to find bargains.

“This is where we do 80 to 90 per cent of our buying for Christmas,” said Stephen Hartfield, store manager of Kid’s Stuff, Uckfield.

“There are always good deals, so we take advantage of those, and they allow us to increase our margins.”

But for most, the show’s appeal seems to be its relaxed atmosphere.

“It’s a really good opportunity to speak to suppliers when the independent retailers are their core focus,” said Helen Gourley, store manager of Toy Hub, Dunblane.

“You’re able to take time to ask questions and have concentrated time with suppliers, as well as chatting to other indies about trends they’re finding.”

Lorraine Chapman, store director of Kidzone Toys, agreed: “It’s a chance to meet others and discuss how they’re doing and what the best things to get are.”

Edmunds continued: “Being in Toymaster is more about being in a big family of people.

"We’re going to have a band on and there’s always dancing. This is definitely an event where you can learn more in the bar than you do in the day sometimes.”

Read the ToyNews guide Toymaster 2013 here.

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