INDIE PROFILE: Arcade Toy Shop

Recently re-opened under the ownership of Dave Carter and Martyn Perry, the Arcade Toy Shop has taken residency in Dudley’s Fountain Arcade for almost five decades, offering loyal clientele a traditional toy shop. Rhys Troake finds out how the new owners have taken to the business and what’s planned for the rest of 2015.
Author:
Publish date:
arcade toy shop.png

Can you tell us a bit about Arcade Toy Shop?
The shop in its current form, Arcade Toy shop, has been in the Fountain Aracde, Dudley, since 1968.

However, it was called Wadworth’s prior to this and Dave’s uncle, Brian, bought his first bike from there in 1936.

The shop is a true independent but it’s got a bit of everything for everyone, from wooden toys, to Scalextric. We really do have a very wide customer base and the shop is well known for this.

Can you tell us about the background of the store?
The shop is jointly owned by Dave Carter and Martyn and Jan Perry.

We all have a public sector background and Dave took voluntary redundancy in March of this year, after over 27 years in roles within the customer services area of Dudley Council.

Martyn and Jan continue to work there for the time being, but are looking to leave in the near future.

Dave’s mum, although being retired, loves to help out around the place a couple of days a week.

Our sons also work in the shop, so we have a broad range of ages and skills, which we are applying to the challenge of running a toy shop.

Can you guide us through the Arcade Toy Shop journey and taking over its ownership?
Having all worked in the public sector for so long, you get a bit jaded in the same job.

Its a job we all enjoyed, but with massive cuts year on year and less resources, it’s difficult to work in a job where you are prevented from providing a good service and large scale redundancies were on the horizon.

We heard the shop was closing and that Alan was looking for a buyer, so we had a chat with him and it all just went from there really.

Alan has been a great mentor and still pops in a few times a week when he is in town. We have been getting very positive feedback, so we are on the right track.

What sets you part from the competition?
We are small, local and give a friendly personal service to all our customers. We stock a bit of everything really and the shop was always known as the go to place for those hard to find items.

Many of our customers don’t like the toy superstores and prefer the experience of bringing their kids to a traditional shop. Most of our customers have been coming here for generations, as have we.

We also have a space rocket ride and everyone identifies us as the shop with the ride.

How is 2015 shaping up for you so far?
When we took over, the shop was in the middle of a refit, taking it back to its 1926 façade. So, due to the building works, many people thought the shop had shut.

In addition, Alan was retiring, so customers feared the worst for the shop.

During these three months we traded from a temporary unit in the Arcade and customers passed us by thinking we were newcomers and in some way stealing business from the well-known shop.

However, since we moved in around four weeks ago, things have gone from strength to strength, with sales climbing by the day, so 2015 is looking to be what we wanted it to be: a good first year.

Are there plans to take the shop in new directions?
We are looking to do online sales and get a whole new website set up, so we can look to grow the business.

We are doing much more on social media too, which is already paying off.

We have over 3,500 people following us and we are starting to get mail order requests for some of the many lines we post online, having just arrived from suppliers.

Are you looking forward to the rest of the year?
We certainly are. Every day presents a new set of challenges and seeing children go away happy is extremely rewarding. The people of the town are a great bunch and we are well supported with a very loyal customer base.

So, we are certainly looking forward to the coming weeks, months and years.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It’s just the start of the journey for us and we’d all like to say a massive thank you to Alan Caswell and his family for all their support.

Related

lighthouse.png

INDIE PROFILE: Lighthouse Toys

Ten years ago, primary school teacher and mother of three, Samantha Broad decided to start selling educational toys. Rhys Troake talks to Lighthouse Toys about what’s selling for the indie store this year.

0 forgotten toy shop-1.jpg

Indie Profile: The Forgotten Toy Shop

With a key emphasis on traditional toys, Karen Dorn owner of online store The Forgotten Toy Shop, aims to bring imaginative toys and games to the young and ‘young at heart’. Here she speaks to Jade Burke about managing her online business alongside a market stall and her hopes to one day open a physical store in the future.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 11.45.27.png

Indie Profile: Grasshopper Toys

After a fire that ravaged their well-loved toy shop in 2013, the passionate staff at Grasshopper Toys have come back stronger than ever. Store owner Wendy Hamilton explains why her shop stands out from the crowd.

Toys n tech.png

INDIE PROFILE: Toys N Tech

When Hawkin’s Bazaar closed its Carlisle branch, shop worker Mandy Middleton noticed a gap in the local market. This January saw her open a store of her own in Carlisle city centre, offering a wide variety of toys. Rhys Troake discovers what the new shop has to offer and what 2015 has lined up for the team.

Indie profile: Wigwam Toys

With a brand new site on the way in the summer for customers to buy from, the future is looking bright for Wigwam Toys in Brighton. Here, Clair Letton, owner, tells Jade Burke about childhood Monopoly tournaments, the importance of the local community to the business and what issues are currently impacting the store.

0 hubbards toy cupboard.jpg

Indie Profile: Hubbard's Toy Cupboard

Since the opening of her first toy store in Hinckley, Caroline Hubbard, owner of Hubbard’s Toy Cupboard, has revealed that a second store could be on the cards in the future. Here, Jade Burke finds out why fantastic customer service is key to the business and how the retailer stands out from the local competition.

Aquillis.png

INDIE PROFILE: Aquillis Toys

Started by Amanda Griffiths three years ago, Aquillis Toys stocks mostly traditional wooden items. Rob Hutchins finds out more about the business and its plans for the future

INDIE PROFILE: Bus Stop Toy Shop

On the west coast of Scotland stands a bus stop like no other. Here, kids and gamers across the seaside town of Largs gather to try the latest toys and games. Robert Hutchins talks to owner Duncan Conner.

Featured Jobs

Copyrights Group

Marketing Manager

The Copyrights Group is one of the licensing arms within The Vivendi Group. Acquired by Vivendi in 2016 Copyrights manages the licensing for a portfolio of properties to include Paddington Bear. Some of the other companies within the Vivendi Group include Universal Music Group, and their licensing arm Bravado, Gameloft and Studiocanal to name a few.