CMR_CM.pngThe ASTRA community is made up of a vibrant group of retailers, sales representatives, manufacturers and affiliate members who all have unique stories of how they got into the toy industry. We believe these stories are worth sharing! To recognize our community, the ASTRA Blog features a regular ASTRA Member Spotlight series. This week, we’ll be featuring ASTRA members who have received their Certified Master Retailer designation. 

What do you enjoy about being in the toy business?
We meet a lot of great people in our store.  We are in a tourist town and have many out of town visitors to talk to.  Perhaps the thing I enjoy the most is the look on the kids’ faces when they come in the door and go “Whoa!”


What has been your biggest challenge in this business?
Neither Tammy nor I had any significant retail experience when we bought the store, so learning the business from the ground up was a challenge.  We still struggle with inventory management.

What inspired you to become a Certified Master Retailer?
I needed to learn more about business best practices.  Having had no formal business training and no real retail experience I felt it was crucial for me to complete the certification.


How has being a Certified Master Retailer enhanced your business acumen?
I learned a great deal about analyzing our business data.  This has helped me to know how we are doing and where we need to put extra effort.  I found the merchandising session to be particularly helpful in knowing how to best arrange our store and display our inventory.

What is one “a-ha” moment you had while earning your Certified Master Retailer designation?
There was so much new information in the course that it is hard for me to pick one singular aha moment.  Learning how to analyze my sales numbers and my inventory was invaluable, but the biggest aha was probably learning the various ways to display merchandise to invoke interest.

What would you say to someone who is considering become a Certified Master Retailer?
Just do it!  Even if you have been in business for years, the CMR program will be a refresher.  You may be surprised at how much you forgot you knew!

Thanks for sharing your story with us, John!

Interested in being featured in a future Member Spotlight post? Apply at the volunteer opportunities featured on ASTRA Connect.