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Celebrating 20 Years of toy stories

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At Work in Play
by Chelsea Pullano

“I feel like I have a good sense of the industry as a whole,” says Ann Kienzle, owner of Play toy store in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. No wonder – in addition to being a specialty toy retailer for the past four years and a member of ASTRA’s executive board, she has a long history of working in the toy industry. Fresh out of college, she joined Brio as a customer service rep, and later moved on to jobs as a toy sales rep and consultant.
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Social Media: What Works?
by Chelsea Pullano and Tina Manzer

“Social media marketing can shine during busy shopping periods when consumers are hard-pressed for time or money,” says a blog post by Aseem Chandra, a vice president at Adobe. In his roundup of the 2013 holiday selling season, he noted, “Clearly, the social media monster can no longer be ignored. Social media referrals to retailers from Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter all saw double-digit growth over the buying season. Shoppers are relying on their social networks to recommend and help them discover new items of interest. Make sure you’re there, too.”
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From www.smallbiztrends.com

One Thousand Companies Present New Products
March/April 2013
About 33,000 members of the toy industry gathered at New York’s Javits Center on Sunday, February 10, as the doors opened for the 110th edition of the American International Toy Fair. Nearly 14,000 of them were registered buyers from 7,650 unique retail outlets. More than 1,000 companies – 23 ... [click here to read more]





by Phil Wrzesinski, Toy House and Baby Too

No, I’m not Santa (although some people in my hometown of Jackson, Michigan, might disagree). I am making a list of traits my seasonal staff needs to have. Retailers should make a list like this for every position in their business, and then they should divide the list into two columns. One is for the stuff you cannot teach, the other is for the stuff you can.
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The 2014 Fabulous Awards There are toys, and there are toys. For retailers, they’re the ones that fly out the door, create buzz for the store and turn random shoppers into loyal, returning customers.
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by Kevin Fahy

kevin fahy

Swordplay

Sometimes I feel like I’m the last person in America to hear about whatever is going on in popular culture, and I rarely watch series television. I’ve never seen an episode of “The Sopranos” or “Breaking Bad.” I only got into “Mad Men” because someone gave me the first few seasons as a Christmas gift, and once I started watching it I couldn’t stop.
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