Independent toy shops see sales soarWoolworths' demise seen as cause of boom

19 February 2009

Woolworths store front

Independent toy shops' sales have soared following the collapse of Woolworths, new figures show.

The Toy Retailers Association (TRA) has announced that toy shops have seen sales rise by anything between 10% and 45%, since mid-December. Woolworths began shutting branches later that month.

Woolworths was the UK's third biggest toy retailer, with around 11% of the market and £300m in sales.

Toy shops benefiting 

The disappearance of Woolworths may mean mean that many small retailers now find it easier to weather the recession.

The association's chairman, Gary Grant, said: 'Right across the country we are hearing that our members are doing incredibly well. At the lower end of the scale the increases have been about 10%, but in high streets where there was once a Woolworths, members there have seen sales rise up to 45%.'

Argos and Toys R Us

Mr Grant said he expected Argos to benefit from Woolworths' absence from the high street. However, he thought Toys R Us would see less of an effect following Woolworths' demise, as its stores are usually out of town.

The Woolworths brand was recently bought by the Shop Direct group and will be relaunched as an online store.

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