High Streets 'must become a unit'

Toy retailers say that sales can be boosted if neighbouring shops group together.
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A panel of independent toy retailers has said that local retail events increase trade and could potentally help rejuvenate our High Streets.

The comments came in an independent retail roundtable, hosted by ToyNews at this year’s Toymaster show.

The panel included Jason Messenger of Messenger Enterprises; David Middleton of Midco Toys; Helen Gourlay of The Hub Direct in Dumblane and Toymaster’s marketing and operations director, Ian Edmunds.

Helen Gourlay said: “We found that doing two High Street events a year, which have largely been co-ordinated by us, made a difference in terms of footfall.

“It's no longer about shops just thinking about themselves, it's about making sure that the cafe down the road has still got people walking through its door and that the gift shop is successful.”

Ian Edmunds commented: “One thing we’ve noticed is Independents Day on the 4th of July, which is about getting people to shop in their local independents.”

To that, Gourlay added: “These things work. The hard part is getting through to the people who have got into the habit of sitting on their computers and waiting for Amazon to deliver.

“If you have to do that by giving them some nice fizz then it’s worth it.”

Look out for the independent retail roundtable in the forthcoming July issue of ToyNews.


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