The Toy Store to open shops in the UK

Gulf Greetings is eyeing up the High Street and wants to open its first outlet in London by the end of 2014.
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The Toy Store, a chain of toy shops currently based in the GCC, is to open stores in the UK.

Owned by Gulf Greetings, The Toy Store has been in operation for ten years and currently has 11 stores across UAE, Oman, Behrain and Quatar.

The Store is now looking to open a London outlet by the end of 2014, before expanding to other prime locations throughout the UK.

"London is key for us because we are a UK management team that has been running the business for the last three years and we know the market, so we want to go there," Mark Handley, group commercial director at Gulf Greetings, exclusively told ToyNews.

"We are looking at the UK and are currently in discussions with a few landlords in premium locations in the London space. We want our first store to be significant and put the message out there that we are serious about what we’re doing.

"Once this is open and trading, we would then look to expand across the UK over the next three years."

While The Toy Store is looking at the UK from an ownership point of view, the retailer is also looking at franchising in locations including Turkey, Russia and CIS, India and Indonesia/Singapore.

The Toy Store aims to make shopping at its stores an experience, with in-store demonstrations, events and 'play before you pay' all key statements of intent for the firm.

"For us, it’s all about the experience," added Handley.

"When you walk into our store, our security guards are Storm Troopers in red and blue, our brand colours. You walk past that and you’ve got a magician, balloon bending and demonstrations going on throughout the store.

"If a child really wants to get a product out, we’ll get the product out and let them play with it before they buy. We have staff going round on scooters and skateboards to make it a fun experience that children will remember.

"When it comes down to range, we’re not restricted. It’s our own brand, we can go wherever we want in the market to buy product."


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