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Feedback: The future of retail

Faced with big name closures and ongoing media reports focusing on the the UK’s struggling retail market, PPS asks Jayne Rees,  owner of Eve’s Toy Shop in Llandeilo, Wales (winner of the 2017 Progressive Preschool Award for Best Independent Toy Shop) for her perspective on the future of preschool retail.

On Toys R Us

“Firstly I think it’s really sad when any business has to close their doors for the last time, but whether it will have any effect on us in the future I just don’t know. The recent closing down sale did affect our Easter trade – a few customers have said they’d visited some with positive purchases. I just hope they haven’t all stocked up for Christmas!”

On Mothercare

“A few years ago our local Mothercare in Swansea was quite run down but now it has had a complete overhaul and I was very pleasantly surprised. It would be a shame now to lose such a lovely shop. Good luck Mothercare!”

On the independent trade

“It sometimes feels like small independents are constantly struggling against the tide. As a traditional toy shop we need toy makers to be inventive and create beautiful toys. We have many loyal customers who are constantly looking for new products, looking for something new – especially if they are buying for the third or fourth child in the family!”

On great suppliers

“Companies that are good at [being inventive and making beautiful toys] in our sector are Djeco, Skip Hop, Le Toy Van, Jura Toys, Haba, Jellycat and Schleich to name a few. Every year when you visit the Toy Fair they have done their part and created something amazing! For our part we aim to have a stocked shop, give a good service and going that extra mile for each customer, it’s a full-time job!”

On online retail and staying competitive

“We have tried to keep up with the changing face of retail. We opened our website just a few years ago and that’s doing ok though the upkeep of it is almost a full time job in itself! I realised a long time ago that you can’t just sit in your shop and wait for your customers to come to you, people quickly forget you and you have to give them a little reminder that you’re still there.”

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