My first year as an indie: Arcade Toy Shop

Co- owners Dave Carter and Martyn Perry reveal why support from local press and authorities helped to boost the business.
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How long has your store been open for?

The store itself has been here since the 1930s. The current shop format has been around since 1968, and we took over the store on June 1st 2015.

Why did you choose to buy the store in the first place?

We chose to buy the store when it came up for sale as we had shopped here as kids and it is an institution in the town.

How has business been since the opening of the store?

Business has been improving slowly since we took over, as many customers had thought the business had actually either closed or was closing soon.

Have sales been steady, or was it a struggle at first?

It was slow at first but we took to the local press and had a lot of support from the local authority, as the building had been designated to be of ‘significant local interest’.

What industry trends have affected you since the opening of the store?

The biggest effect on us to date has been the heavy discounting of things like Minion toys at large supermarkets, including the likes of Tesco and Asda.

The three for two offers on some of the big retailers has also been an issue at times for us, but it’s a case of holding your nerve and waiting for them to sell out and then you pick up the customer.

What are your future expectations for the new store?

We are looking to open our upstairs show room soon, and branch out into cycles and more of the model lines that we have re-introduced into the store.

What advice would you give to other retailers who are just starting out?

Go for it. Be careful whom you buy from and don’t buy in huge quantities. Buy little and often, and keep moving your stock around.


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