Where did this first quarter go? Wow what a great one it has been. Coming off a very good sales year in 2017 we wanted to get out of the gate strong in 2018 and mission accomplished. This will be our best first quarter sales performance ever (22 years) and the strongest March performance ever!! Wait–not what you are thinking?
I contribute this performance to 3 main groups;
- Great new product and smaller toy/gift vendors allowing us to try their products in store early and with demos. I must highlight 4 we are trying right now with success; Chatty Snaps, a Chicago based company with a great back story and simple product that allows you to express yourself; The Animoodles, my favorite Toy Fair pick, once I saw it, played with it and could see the potential to have a soft and cuddly building toy that allows creativity and promotes communication; Makeup Eraser, broadens our age range and with tweens growing in importance and Mom’s needing to pick up gifts, this fit the bill; Squeezamals, another Toy Fair like but would the squishy trend stay alive? It has and this new entry has rocked- zooming to our #1 toy in 2 weeks. WOW!
- Our team of experts — this crew gets it! What it takes day in and day out to perform at a high level. Selling, Merchandising, Training, Demoing, Receiving, Inventorying, and Marketing. They do it all and understand they are part of something special. They WOW me!
- Our fans– so many are commenting that they appreciate our daily toy updates, safety announcements, sales/events and new new new products that are on trend as well as tried and true best sellers. We take this seriously and securely especially with our 2700+ text audience. We value this info and respect it.
I did not mention any other retailer or toy/gift competitor. Or the rapid growth of on line toy sales. The fact is, retail has changed and will continue to change dramatically but with the right partners(vendors), a team that shares the vision and customers who want to and have a reason to come inside a store, the other noise doesn’t matter. I suggest independent toy stores stay focused on your vision, but do it very well, and we all will continue to grow.
Till next time.