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40 RETAIL ONLY NEWS Seemylocalshop hunts for suppliers

Retailers are being invited to submit the toy companies whose products they wish to promote... by Katie Roberts

FOLLOWING A ‘soft launch’ to the trade at Spring Fair, is looking to build up the toy directory it hopes will be used by indies to create their own microsites and promote their products to local communities. Founder Mike Cooksedge told

ToyNews: “Suppliers are the key. Retailers can upload their own products but it’s so much easier to copy them from a supplier’s list. “Some retailers we spoke to feared that they didn’t have enough leverage with the big suppliers for them to listen. So our job is to galvanise the industry and get every indie to sign up and make their voice heard and get the big boys on board.”


Dispatches from the retail front line...

Looking back at Toy Fair this year, what did make me chuckle was every time I saw an ‘app’

item. I wrote a long while back about kids spending pocket money – which would normally be destined for toy shops – on apps for their smart phones. Suddenly our industry has woken up but it has left me feeling a little underwhelmed, to be honest. Are we too late with both the add-ons and is the quality of the games too low? Our local Carphone Warehouse has a big stand with accessories to use with free apps and they can’t shift them. At Toy Fair, when I said to someone the appeal of smartphone games was that you didn’t need to carry fishing rods or cars around to play them (and they cost under a quid), I was given a load of marketing bull which was only

APRIL 2012

silenced once I demonstrated how to play the free download without the toy accessory. As I wasn’t allowed to see

the secret room on the Hasbro stand, I can’t really comment on the app-enabled Monopoly version shown there, however, when there is a very good

reasons why, and from an indie point of view, the video games industry is screwed. Every new release sold at cost price, then stock is marked down within a month to half the cost and publishers are so in bed with the supermarkets that when they lose interest or they

So, how are things out there from an indie perspective?

Pretty poor is all I hear, with footfall down dramatically.

Hasbro-endorsed app already available for less than £2, the firm can’t be looking to charge any more than £5, surely? It’s ironic that the month

ToyNews does a feature on the video games industry – something that most toy independents must have been interested in due to Skylanders – GAME Group is effectively bust. There are many

are the only sales channel left, it will come back and bite the publishers so hard on bum it will hurt. So, how are things out there

from a toy indie perspective? Pretty poor is all I hear, with footfall down dramatically. Spend in shops seems to have fallen off a cliff and internet trading also seems to have slowed for most. You always

see a few silly prices after Christmas as retailers try to get rid of their mistakes, but I suppose the prize for strangest price this year is a new Subbuteo set on Amazon at £15, and that was from a marketplace seller. However, to cheer us up,

Lego still manages to buck the trend, Moshi Monsters is still flying, Sylvanian Families

(pictured) are doing okay, while Pillow Pals are starting to sell. Finally, as I write this, the expected hosepipe ban has been announced. I had to laugh when a salesman from a toy company I’ve never heard of tried to sell me paddling pools on the same day. I had wondered what all the hand car wash businesses would do now –maybe he could try them?

suppliers and retailers, giving buyers a directory of locally available products.

With this in mind the site has launched a wanted list of suppliers, and is urging retailers to sign up and add their votes to the suppliers they

want on the site. With free use of the site guaranteed for shops until at least 2020, SeeMyLocalShop is targeting 100 per cent up take up among

Cooksedge commented: “It’s become apparent from our research that consumers would far rather shop on their local High Street and support their local economy, but lifestyles don’t always allow the time to do this. “So our aim is to give those people the resource to make the town centre shopping experience quicker and easier and ultimately more effective.” In order to further increase shopper numbers in town centres, Cooksedge urges retailers to get their neighbouring shops involved once they are on board as the site will serve as a full directory for all industries. 0845 2501257

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