Contributed by Mary Scheie, Just Imagine Toys
7th Annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day
11/12/2016 – All Day
American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)
Just Imagine Toys, Wasilla
These days, those in the know “shop local” to support the environment and their community alike.
On Saturday, November 12, Just Imagine Toys will join hundreds of locally owned stores across the country to celebrate the seventh national Neighborhood Toy Store Day, an annual celebration in which independent toy shops kick off the holiday season with special events to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local. Just Imagine Toys will offer fun, child-friendly activities such as games, an art project and entering to win their favorite toy on our Best Toys for Kids wall.
“Specialty toy store owners are the real experts when it comes to choosing toys for kids,”
said Kimberly Mosley, President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting local toy shopping and creative open-ended playtime for children. “These store owners spend time with kids day in and day out. They understand the value of play, and what types of toys will truly engage children.”
As a result, neighborhood toy stores offer a carefully curated product selection and provide trusted recommendations on quality toys that offer good value. Because they needn’t adhere to a national sales plan like major chains, they can customize their offerings to specific community needs. And because they source products from both big-brand manufacturers and small, entrepreneurial companies, they introduce children to a world of toys that often, can’t be found elsewhere.
“Local stores also make holiday toy shopping easier, by offering a personalized approach and customer service that contrasts with the experience of shopping large retailers,“ said Mary Scheie, Owner of Just Imagine Toys.
In addition, shopping locally supports the community by creating jobs and preserving neighborhoods. Compared to chain stores, independent local businesses put a significantly larger share of revenue back into the local economy in the form of taxes, salaries and more. They also support environmental sustainability, by helping to maintain vibrant, walkable town centers, essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
For more information on Neighborhood Toy Store day, visit ASTRA at www.astratoy.org/ntsd.
Founded in 1992, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is an international not-for-profit trade organization that serves more than 1,800 independent retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives in the specialty toy industry. ASTRA is a community of dedicated professionals committed to providing children with healthy, quality play materials that have high play value and are designed with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what the toy can do. ASTRA members are leaders who, through their businesses, make a positive impact on the economy and culture of the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.astratoy.org.