Toytown in Woodbridge, Suffolk will become the latest in a string of independent toy stores to shut up shop for good this year.
Sibling owners Simon Adams and Kym Blowers will turn off the lights for the final time at the end of the month. They took over the store five years ago from Peter Sheldrake, who ran the shop for 28 years. The store is part of the Toymaster group.
Speaking to a local paper, Kym says the business is no longer tenable. The store struggled to keep up with excessive business rates, and “the internet does not do us any favours”, she says.
Simon, who has worked in toy retail for more than 40 years, believes the business has changed dramatically in the past decade, limiting the scope for how a small, independent store can compete.
"Toys used to be still bought by 12 or 13-year-old children, but now by the time they get to 10 they are getting out of toys," he says, adding: “kids don’t want to play outdoors, they want to sit in”, often “on their tablets”.
Toytown is holding a closing down sale until it ceases trading on 29 February.
The business is currently on the market with a rental asking price of £10,000, recently reduced from £12,500. Turnover is stated to be £94,000.