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shoptalking Holidays are coming...

Toy World’s Kayleigh Conway speaks to independent retailers about the hot topics of the month. With Christmas now fi rmly on the brain and some cheeky mentions of grown-up slushies in the indie section this month, I think I know what I’ll be doing with my Snowballs this year…

Linda Moore partner, Giles Sports Toys and

Cycles, Carterton We’re a family-run business; the store originally started off as a grocery shop opened by my parents. The store has grown since then and now I run the store with my brother Lester and husband Kevin. We have a really big cycles and sports department, and we’ve been described as a ‘destination shop’ that’s out in the sticks! September has been quiet, with money going on the kids’ school uniforms and such, and Carterton has generally been quiet lately, though we’re hoping that a Morrisons opening down the road from us will help to regenerate the area. We’ve got Hallowe’en and Fireworks Night coming up, though; while Fireworks Night is dwindling, we’ve always been big for Hallowe’en because we’re located next to an RAF base that used to be mostly American when I was growing up. The only problem you get now is that the costumes are becoming less realistically- priced and we’re finding it difficult to compete with Sainsbury’s and Tesco. We’re all geared up and ready for

Christmas now; it’s been better these last few years as people are thinking about Christmas earlier and spreading the load across a few months. We also started some

radio advertising for the first time which first aired a few weeks ago, focusing on our bikes and toys. At the moment The Zelfs is absolutely flying out the door, and we’re desperately waiting for more stock. Planes is brilliant for us; besides it being a great line, being located next to the RAF base helps. Lego does very well for us, and they’ve become our best supplier; they’ve greatly improved from a few years ago when it was very difficult to get hold of stock. Nerf is doing very well as we have the Toymaster Window for it. I think that Character’s Chill Factor is absolutely fantastic; it’s also great for grown-ups with a bit of alcohol in it! Beanie Boos are also doing well, and Doc McStuffins has just started to pick up for us with people now asking for it when they come in. Character’s Lite Brix range is also very good, and we’ll do well on bikes and high-end scooters and skateboards. I love Meccano, and grandparents still like to buy the big traditional sets that get kids to use their brains and invent something. Bigjigs’ train range is great for us, being very good quality at the right price point. Craft will always do well, and Galt is great for that. We’ve got Playmobil’s advent calendars out already and people are getting them early this year conscious of not wanting them to sell out; so overall I’m feeling very positive for Christmas.

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I haven’t seen any Q1 previews for myself

yet, but we always go with the key lines; people can drive a long way to see us, so if we don’t have what they’re looking for they don’t come back. We like to stock a mix of the key lines and things that are a bit different, and we aim to be a one-stop shop with gift wrap, cards and partyware, too. In preparation for the days straight after Christmas we’ll make sure we have plenty of stock left over, and we’ll reduce the lines that we think would appeal to children coming in with their Christmas money and gift vouchers, which we sell a lot of. There’s also the Toymaster sale, and we get new lines coming in the day after Boxing Day, so that we’ve got everything covered between the new lines and the bargains.

* Actual game footage

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