In autumn 2011, Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada, a nationwide membership of independent retailers and their suppliers, launched its first annual Neighbourhood Toy Store Day.
Offering special product promotions as well as lots of fun and free activities, the occasion was designed to thank regular customers for their patronage, but also as a way of introducing new clients to the pluses of shopping at smaller stores where actual play experts presided.
That first NTS-Day was enormously successful, with participating NETS members across the country reporting an enthusiastic response from all customers – regular and first-timers – who came through their doors. In many communities, other nearby businesses also enjoyed an up-tick, thanks to the increased traffic generated by NTS-Day.
Not surprisingly, Neighbourhood Toy Store Day has turned into a much-anticipated, annual event that many families are beginning to mark on their calendars. This year’s NTS-Day kicks off on November 9 and as Deborah Cauz, spokeswoman for the NETS organization, explains below, it promises to be the best one yet. From Kamloops to Kingston, over 40 stores will be featuring giveaways, goodies, activities and surprise guests.
So, Mom and Dad, find your nearest participating toy store and enjoy a fun day with the family. And while you’re out and about, don’t forget to discover, explore and support your other neighbourhood businesses. — Lynn Winston, editor
Discover the wow factor at your neighbourhood toy store
By Deborah Cauz, NETS
On Saturday, November 9, independent toys and games retailers are inviting consumers across Canada to celebrate the third annual Neighbourhood Toy Store Day.
That’s the day when local businesses, which specialize in kids play, ‘put on the dog’. Whether located in a major urban area or scattered throughout rural Canada, these independent retailers want to show appreciation for repeat customers and win over new ones.
“Neighbourhood Toy Store Day is to remind Canadian families that despite growing competition from mass marketers, local, independent toy stores offer a fabulously rewarding shopping experience that is characterized by quality products, top-notch expertise and old-fashioned customer service,” says Dianne Mattice, president of Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada and co-owner of The Rocking Horse toy store in Owen Sound, Ontario.
“Independent toy retailers are parents themselves and live in the same community in which they work. They have built their businesses on reputation and word of mouth, rather than on volume discounts and mass marketing. Matching children’s needs and desires with parents’ pocketbooks and approval, still remains the name of the game.”
‘We are the ideal destination for parents wanting play products and ideas that are less mass market, equally as fun, usually more clever and often have a tendency to focus on skills development,” she adds.
On November 9, the country-wide celebration of independent toy stores will take place in more than 40 retail locations, all of which are NETS members. Each store will offer its own individual agenda of free activities and specials throughout the day with the entire network of NETS retailers featuring an astonishing array of events.
At various locations, there will be make-and-take crafts, scavenger hunts, games tables, science tables, face painting, giveaways, raffles and draws, including the chance to win NETS 2013 Gold Star Award products. (Gold Star products are recognized for their exceptional play value).
In addition to exciting discounts to launch the holiday shopping season, also look for visits from special guests, including the likes of Darth Vader, Princess Sophia, Supergirl, a life-size Groovy Girl, a magician and the unveiling of huge Playmobil friends. The list of in-store activities — growing each day, as stores finalize their plans — can be viewed under the ‘For Parents & Grandparents’ tab.
Finally, the NETS 2013 holiday catalogue, a ‘toy-riffic’ guide to what’s hot for the holidays, will be available at participating retailers on NTS-Day. Featuring more than 100 play products, the Let’s Play! catalogue is the ideal resource from which kids can build a Christmas wish list that is bound to meet with the approval of parents.
Visit Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada for more information.
|Deborah Cauz is the president of Cauz & Effect Strategic Commuications, a Toronto-area agency providing public relations services to local and national business organizations including Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada.|
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