Saturday, December 12, 2009
We sell lots of toys, but there are a few that I think make a real difference. Science kits, puppets, a first cookbook, there are lines you can draw back through your life to these toys and say "that's where it started". I think our balance bikes are truly a starting point for a lot of kids. These toys give a first taste of freedom. Skuut is the name of one of the two balance bikes we offer, the other is from Prince Lionheart. Both of them allow kids a chance to practice bike skills without pedals. It's a way to bypass training wheels and just go! I think there are more than a few kids that, in twenty or thirty years, will look back over a life of adventure and say "It started with that wooden bike I got!"
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This last weekend bugged me. The days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday seemed like an endless Soviet Era propaganda film about the decadence of the west. Sure I'm a retailer, but is it really all a big game, to trick people into spending money at your store no matter how, or why? Obviously I'm on a rant about what makes a specialty store different (see previous post), but I think things have gotten way out of hand.
ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailers) worked hard this year to produce a list of toys - The Best Toys for Kids. We didn't come up with "Door Busters" or "3 at this Price" toys. This selection of toys, along with the rest of our products, our outstanding staff and pleasant shopping environment is what we have to offer. This weekend made it seem like that's not enough, but we're happy to offer these things on Friday, Monday and every day of the year.
Certainly media hype has a lot to do with "Black Friday". Send a reporter out, show some video of shoppers in the cold at 4 am. Big news story. Today The Golden Apple is holding our own "Dog Bites Man" news event. Customers thoughtfully choosing toys with our help. Free Gift Wrapping - film at 11. Hope you can find parking, what with all the TV news vans out front!