Toys and Tales sets new record, winning the 2015 Toy & Hobby Retailer Industry Awards' Toy Retailer of the Year for the seventh time.

The newly refurbished Macquarie Centre in North Ryde, Sydney, is home to the latest Toys and Tales store. The retailer is no stranger to accolades, having collected the Toy Retailer of the Year title several times already.

Proprietor Elizabeth Milford says she and partner Eric were approached by Macquarie Centre management in 2013 who “were hand-picking retailers who could offer a five-star look and retail experience for the customers to create eye-catching displays in a store with sweeping windows in front of a busy travelator”.

“Macquarie Centre has encouraged all of its retailers, new and existing, to think outside the square and refresh all their store fitouts to create a wonderful visual merchandising presentation.

“Two designers worked with us to create a magical treehouse look, with particular emphasis on keeping the shopfront open so customers in the mall could see into the shop,” she says.

“We were particularly interested in this venue because the shopping centre is situated in a growth corridor with business parks surrounding it, Macquarie University adjacent, and a burgeoning residential sector,” Milford says.

“The centre services a dense cluster of tech, medical and professional services, and there’s a lunchtime rush that encompasses a remarkable range of people from different nationalities on weekdays. Many love finding toys they haven’t seen since leaving home – and the adult games and puzzles offer added appeal.

“Most retailers with multiple stores that I’ve spoken to have said they’ve noticed there are differences in the popularity of lines, even where distances between the shops are not great – and it applies to this shop too.

“The Macquarie Centre shop is our largest, so we’re able to showcase some items in ways that are not possible in the smaller stores. Some customers who’ve shopped in some of our other stores have commented that Macquarie has more lines.

“It has only a few more but it has become apparent to us that size definitely matters in terms of what gets noticed. We had the same effect when we enlarged the Rouse Hill [Sydney] store. People would comment on how they loved the new stock – but it was simply a matter of having more space to display the stock in a better way. Room to manoeuvre prams and trolleys helps too!”

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