‘It’s been tremendous fun’: Owners of toy shop close down for good

Julia Alexander and Richard Harding, who've now closed Puff's Toyshop in Wymondham. pic: Archant

Julia Alexander and Richard Harding, who've now closed Puff's Toyshop in Wymondham. pic: Archant - Credit: Archant

The bosses of a much-loved Norfolk toy shop have shut down after eight years.

Puff's Toyshop in Wymondham has now closed for good. Pic: Clare Precey

Puff's Toyshop in Wymondham has now closed for good. Pic: Clare Precey - Credit: Archant

Richard Harding and Julia Alexander opened Puff’s Toyshop in Wymondham in 2012.

They believed there was a lack of toy shops in the town and wanted to encourage shoppers to return to the high street after Woolworths closed.

The couple delivered toys to customers in lockdown earlier ths year.

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But despite reopening after the first coronavirus restrictions eased, the owners decided when the lease came up for renewal on the shop in Fairland Street, they would close, much to the dismay of shoppers.


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After holding a 50pc discount sale to get rid of stock, they’ve now closed for good.

They posted on social media: “Our lease is coming to an end and circumstances make this the right time to go. We would like to thank all our lovely regular customers and supporters throughout the years...it’s been tremendous fun being here and we hope that Puff’s will be remembered fondly by young and old.”

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Mr Harding, an avid board game fan, opened the toyshop after retail experience dating back years when he used to run a shop in Brighton before moving on to become store manager at a GAME store in south London.

He then worked for Norwich City Council before opening Puff’s – named after the Puff the Magic Dragon children’s song.

News of the closure was met with dismay from shoppers who posted their best wishes to the couple on social media.

Simon Best said: A real highlight of shopping in Wymondham. Puff’s really will be missed..Good luck with whatever you do next.”

Rebecca Fraser added: “So sorry to hear Puff’s is closing. Our weekly shopping trip used to consist of a trip to Puff’s to spend my daughter’s pocket money on yet more Lottie Dolls. You brought so much joy to children.”

Dean Bailey commented: “My son used to like going into this shop. He’s a bit big to go in now but the memories still live on.”

The toy shop was so liked by the local community that in 2018 when it was the subject of a scam in which it lost £200, the town rallied round to raise the money in a crowd-funding exercise to ‘right the wrong.’

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