“I feel a toy store is like a great coffee shop a great bakery. It’s part of your community,” said Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop.
Kidstop Toys and Books has been in the Valley for 19 years.
“You hate to see what’s happening right now but sometimes change is good,” said Tanner.
She feels the Toys R Us store closing could bring opportunity for others.
“I think this could bring some people back into the fold of owning their own toy store,” said Tanner.
“Coming to a specialty toy store is more than buying a toy it’s about bonding with your child,” said Sam Powazek, owner of Toys and Playtime Oasis.
Powazek started Toys and Playtime Oasis 41 years ago.
“We knew our customers, we knew our kids, we watched them grow,” said Powazek.
But that isn’t the way it is anymore.
“Of the major changes in our industry is online sales,” said Powazek.
Even though the trend is online shopping, the smaller stores feel there is nothing like a kid roaming the aisle of a toy store and letting their imagination run wild.
“There is definitely magic in here, happens every day. Especially when first time customers come through the door,” said Tanner.
“To see the kids walk in, and take that first look around and look at everything and ask questions, there is nothing like it,” said Powazek.
Both Powazek and Tanner are concerned about the impacts the closing of Toys R Us will have on their smaller stores.
“Toys R Us was one of the major innovators of bringing toys to the market. There will be fallout. We will see it, but hopefully it won’t hurt sales and the consumer will think of us first before they go online,” said Powazek.
“I’m worried about the medium-to-smaller toy manufacturers cause they’re not going to get those two toys on the shelf that would help with cash flow to grow their business,” said Tanner.
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