This month, we’re heading to Kansas to get the inside scoop with our friends at The Toy Store! The Toy Store was established in 1998, and ever since they have dedicated their business to being the most knowledgable source on children’s playthings in the area.
Read on to learn some more about this modern, quirky, wonderful store!
Name a song that describes your store’s personality best.
Can’t Stop Me Now – Queen
What inspired you to open your store?
Our town lacked a toy store, we built one from the ground up. Family owned and operated for over 42 years we take pride in what we are doing, whether it is assembling a first doll house or strategize how to launch the catapult you just built at Second Saturday Science. We also accepted failure and hardship, we struggled, but. . . we prevail every day we get to provide a bright creative engaging space for kids and big kids alike.
How do you pick products that you know will succeed in your store?
First we visit New York Toy Faire and visit with the vendors, second we attend A.S.T.R.A. (American Specialty Toy Retailers Association) marketplace and trade show. Followed by reviewing as many maternity websites as possible, mommy.com, thebump.com, etc. We obviously listen to customers requests, but to stay on the trends we must keep our heads up for the next great item and hope that it hasn’t gone mass market yet.
What is the key to your store’s success?
Customer engagement (an aspect of customer service). We know our customers, know their kids, know their grand kids. We offer staff that are happy to: feel out blind bags for kids, gift wrap, small-talk, fix your squeaky stroller wheel, curbside pick-up, Drum Circle, Story Time, Second Saturday Science, and award winning window displays. Ultimately we have a great town, with liberal students who understand our demographic and connect with both the kids and the parents. Small talk however is one of the most under-appreciated tools in the modern retail world in terms of customer engagement, we depend on it.
What is your favorite ZoLi product?
A tie between the CHUBBY GUMMY stick and the STUCK feeding system. Both are high quality and with gorgeous packaging.
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We had so much fun learning about The Toy Store! Let us know if you have any other ZoLi retailers you would love to hear from.