Toys R Us is nostalgic to me and many. We grew up knowing the jingle, recognized their mascot and were filled with glee when seeing that blue bag and their logo. It's the end of an era but there is so many MORE stores to be grateful for. A smile comes to my face thinking of each small store I have walked into in my life that has impacted me.
Seeing toys zip across the ceiling and KNOWING the OWNERS FACE and they knew MY name made the experience at a local retailer MORE. Gift, toy and baby stores all over have been creating experiences for their customers that stick with them since opening their doors. They support local events, partner with surrounding businesses and bring personalized moments to each and every person that visits.
For the past two weeks, Team Baby Jack has spent days visiting independent retailers in the Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago area that carry our products. We have taken the time to chat with the owners and those passionate about the store. We listened to their story and got tips on merchandising. We made videos, social posts and took pictures to help drive traffic of our customers into their locations. It has been the GREATEST experience since we began selling to stores and a fun one to share as a team. It has truly helped us grow MORE.
Since beginning to sell to stores and evolving our brand, we made some mistakes. We had price points that were not best for our retailers but all of the feedback given certainly made our brand better. For example, Minya Oy of Galt Toys & Baby in Chicago mentioned that she adored our "Mini Jacks" 8x8 tag toys. It sat in my brain for two years and after launching our Learning Lovey Collection, we produced the 8x8 Mini Jack Crinkle Squares in a variety of designs. Now, it is our BEST SELLERS and a great add-on for a variety of ages. Minya has been an expert in the toy industry for years and I feel fortunate in having a personal recommendation from her that has done wonders for our Baby Jack brand.
This brings me to the focus of LOYALTY.
Baby Jack tries to sell to retailers that truly support a partnership. We have a loyal following of #babyjackfan customers; each and every image on our website / social media / product tags are REAL customers who help us grow. They want us to succeed and want to support the stores that support our brand. Working with retailers who provide a fun atmosphere for their customers, who engage with them and who personalize each experience when they arrive is important to us.
With all the marketing that we do in collaboration with our retailers, we are really excited to debut this Music Shapes you design, created by using basic shapes.
Starting with some local stores, many will be posting social media contests and throwing musical events / hosting giveaways with us!
Will you dance & debut this with us?
Although there is a big toy store on its way out of the industry, I am hopeful that the neighborhood brick and mortar will continue to be at the forefront of everyone's mind. It helps to know the owner, see familiar faces and support your community. Personally, I want to go where everybody knows your name. No, not Cheers the bar, but to my local independent store where my kids can PLAY and make MORE memories.
written by owner of Baby Jack & Company, Kelley Legler
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