Then there were three

IT MAY be a little too early to comment properly on what has happened in the independent retail sector over the last few weeks as we?re still sifting through the wreckage of what happened on April Fools day.
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Hopefully, Magson will turn out to be the saviour that Youngsters is hoping for and not a distributor looking to get its hand on some knock-down stock. So far it is making all the right noises about a long-term commitment to becoming a bona fide buying group, but it seemingly has some work to do to convince one or two doubters out there.

AIS is a long-established group of independent stores with nearly 30 good-sized toy stores and departments within it, many of which are either Youngsters or Toymaster members. It has been quietly wooing Youngsters members and other indies since the ballooon went up and is now a serious alternative to both Toymaster and the Magson-owned Youngsters.

And then of course there’s Toymaster, which has been extremely professional throughout it all, quietly explaining its own position to suppliers and without courting them too blatantly has issued an open invitation for Youngsters members left high and dry and in rapid need of a buying group through which it can source product.

And throughout, the TRA has been doing all it can by offering members legal advice and assistance to those who fear they may be held liable for stock purchased through Youngsters.

From having two buying groups we then momentarily had one and now we have three.

In terms of growing its numbers and therefore its influence Toymaster will doubtless be the winner in the long run, but a quick sale of Youngsters and a well-intentioned AIS sees the trade in a much stronger position than it was in on the morning of April 2nd.

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