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World Book Day?

at Smiffy’s, pointed out that “of course, some kids don’t tell their parents of events at school until the last minute. Parents then rush around trying to fi nd something for them to wear. If toy stores feature these items in key locations in-store then they will pick up incremental sales for this increasingly popular event.” Holly Oldham, media and licensing manager at Rubie’s, added that by “stocking costumes early, and by taking advantage of Rubie’s large variety, retailers will not be caught out but will increase their sales exponentially.” World Book Day is


certainly becoming an increasingly important event for dress-up suppliers. Holly said: “Book week is one of the key events during the year for Rubie’s, with sales growing signifi cantly year on year. Next to Hallowe’en, WBD is evolving into the next most important season.” David told me that

National Book Tokens which they can use to pick one of eight new and exclusive books, or get £1 off books and audio books at participating bookshops. Many schools now encourage children to get into the spirit of World Book Day by coming to school dressed as their favourite literary character, so the weeks and days leading up to WBD offer toy retailers the perfect opportunity to offer schoolchildren a selection of book-inspired costumes and accessories. David Wain, head of UK and international sales

W 52 Toyworld

Smiffy’s has seen signifi cant sales increases around events of this type in recent years: “Kids’ costume sales

orld Book Day is a celebration of reading, and Thursday 6th March 2014 will see more than 14 million children in the UK receive

are increasing with strong demand for licensed costumes; we have a plethora of kids’ licences which are growing year on year.” The main benefi ts of stocking dress-up lines

around World Book Day, according to Lisa Tibbs, dress-up controller at Amscan, include incremental sales, the ability to have a unique offering, particularly of lines not listed by the supermarkets, and the opportunity to offer a full size range. Lisa added: “It’s very important for Amscan to be able to cater to the WBD event; for events such as World Book Day especially we want to encourage children to get into character and enjoy reading and escaping to that fantasy world.” Rubie’s main goal when designing costumes

for World Book Day is to make reading fun and approachable. Holly said: “Reading is a key element of the national curriculum and this event helps children enjoy dressing up as their favourite

Kayleigh Conway looks at how promoting dress-up costumes in the weeks ahead of World Book Day can boost sales for toy retailers.

character from a book, be it a classic character or modern day super-hero. By offering the characters from favourite books as costumes, kids can fully immerse themselves in the story by wearing the outfi t of the characters in the books or comic they love to read.”

The early bird Some retailers who are already planning for World Book Day will link up with their local communities, like Charlotte Croser, owner of Jollys Toys & Games in Thrapston. Charlotte explained: “My daughter goes to the local school and they’re big on World Book Day, so I link with the school and do lots of promoting on Facebook, and I’ll do a ‘spend this much and get a free something’ kind of offer. I also work with other retailers and the library; it brings people to the high street.” Book retailers such as Waterstones are diversifying

their product mix with toys, so there’s no reason why toy retailers can’t benefi t from additional events such as World Book Day. Charlotte shows how toy retailers can become a one-stop shop by utilising opportunities such as WBD to promote their own book offering: “This year I’ll have lots of Usborne books in my window display that are aimed at school-aged children, as well as Harry Potter.” She added: “Tobar does a Wizard’s Wand with lights and sounds and lots of kids at my daughter’s school dress


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