Search

With toy market booming, Langleys boss says shop is still going strong

PUBLISHED: 08:39 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:39 21 December 2017

Owner of The TV and Movie Store and Langleys, Steven Scott with Langleys manager Chris Goulding. 

Picture: Sonya Duncan

Owner of The TV and Movie Store and Langleys, Steven Scott with Langleys manager Chris Goulding. Picture: Sonya Duncan

ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434

For children (and adults) around the country, Christmas means one thing above all others – new toys.

The UK toy industry is booming, with sales hitting a record high of more than £3.3bn in 2016 following a rise in sales of almost 6% in 2015.

But some retailers have struggled with the increasing demand for discounts, with Toys R Us the latest to suffer falling revenues from a lull in in-store activity.

However, a toy shop which has been trading in Norfolk for more than 130 years is taking full advantage of the industry’s strength.

Langleys, in Norwich’s Royal Arcade, has two new tools in its Christmas arsenal this year: a revamped website, launched in the summer; and a new catalogue, of which 10,000 copies have been distributed around the city.

Manager Chris Goulding, who has worked at Langleys for 37 years, said the shop’s preparations for the festive season began in May.

“We have always had good directors who will let us buy what we want. I am not restricted,” he said.

“We are at the coal face, listening to customers all the time – bigger retailers cannot react quickly enough to crazes and what customers ask for.

“As soon as something is out and people are asking for it, you can make a judgement.

“We’re not going to sell a lot of what Hamley’s would because we are a different kind of shop.”

He added: “The atmosphere at Christmas is great. It is a bit hectic but I love the feeling of people rushing around you and buying things, and being able to help them.”

Owner Steven Scott said the shop was able to react quicker to customer demand than its bigger competitors.

“We are a much more mobile vehicle than supermarket toy shops. If the staff think something is going to be big, we can get it in.

“Quite often the big stores will try to create a trend, whereas we will follow customer demand rather than telling the customer what they need to be buying.”

Among the Christmas crazes which Mr Goulding expects to fly off the shelves are Hatchimals (including some special collectors’ editions), YouTube craze Lol Dolls, and miniature electronic puppets Fingerlings.

But he said demand for classic toys such as Cabbage Patch Dolls, sketching toys and Rubik’s Cubes was experiencing a resurgence.

Still a family business

Steven Scott, who bought Langleys two years ago, says he has a passion for “into niche, family-oriented, family-owned businesses”.

“My parents had six or seven which they ran as a family business, so it runs in the blood,” he said.

“Year one [at Langleys] was spent getting used to the business and ensuring the staff didn’t think I was going to change everything.”

Since Mr Scott took ownership he has taken on a second building on Gentleman’s Walk, now

named Little Langley’s, which stocks pre-school toys and games.

This year the company has completely revamped its website and launched a new catalogue.

Mr Scott said: “The website gives people the choice to shop remotely and will hopefully ensure we continue to be the strong, independent business that we are.”

He expressed confidence in the shop’s continuing appeal, adding: “We want to continue to be a Mecca for toys.”

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Insight

Holden is a name associated with the motor trade in Norfolk for 90 years. Motoring editor Andy Russell chats to current CEO Tim Holden, third generation in the family motor group, about how it has become a nationally-recognised driving force.

As diesel car registrations drop, more and more motorists are becoming aware of the benefits of hybrid cars and how easy they are to drive. Toyota’s pioneering role in hybrid technology means nearly half its total sales now combine petrol and electric power, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

Women in Business

cover

Enjoy the
Women in Business
digital edition

Read

Business East

cover

Enjoy the
Business East
digital edition

Read

Celebrating Success

cover

Enjoy the
Celebrating Success
digital edition

Read

B2B Exhibition

cover

Enjoy the
B2B Exhibition
digital edition

Read

Green 100

cover

Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition

Read

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor

|

Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor

|

Business Most Read

Awards

Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100