Understanding Your Business Numbers

To my fellow Retailers:

Specialty toy stores might seem all the same on the surface, but when you start to analyze them by the numbers we are quite the diverse lot.  Yes, we sell much of the same products, from the same suppliers, but how we manage the product and cash flow can vary widely.  Some stores fold within a few years, some struggle for what seems like an eternity, others thrive and prosper.  All faced with roughly the same circumstances, we don’t always share the same outcomes. However, I find a general reoccurring theme in my conversations with fellow store owners.
Continue reading “Understanding Your Business Numbers”

How to Move Your Business Forward Strategically in One Day

Participating in the annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day celebration is the perfect way to show people why they should shop at your store and not on Amazon or at a big box. We as specialty toy retailers have an advantage over our competitors:  our stores are an experience. We are a destination for families who crave fun together and are looking for guidance in helping their children learn and grow. Celebrating Neighborhood Toy Store Day (this year, on November 11) showcases us doing what we do best, all in one compact, easy-to-digest day.

Continue reading “How to Move Your Business Forward Strategically in One Day”

Learning Toys and the STEM Trend

Learning Toys and the STEM Trend

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) movement is perhaps one of the most important trends in toys in decades. It tags the skills that kids will need, in theory, to stay relevant in today’s tech-centric world. From code-teaching caterpillars to colorful chemistry kits, manufacturers and retailers alike are eager to cash in on a growing toy sector that promises to deliver on science, technology, engineering, and math education.

Continue reading “Learning Toys and the STEM Trend”

Disruptions in the Retail World: Online Sales

Is the brick and mortar retail model dead?  A vehement NO! was the consensus of three separate round table discussions held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 16-18, 2017.  Sales representatives, retail store owners and manufacturer members of ASTRA met in their respective groups to discuss how online sales have affected brick and mortar retail and what the future holds.

Continue reading “Disruptions in the Retail World: Online Sales”

Women-Owned Businesses: Sharing the Challenges & Rewards

Women make up about 50% of the population, but when it comes to the work world, women leaders and founders of businesses are drastically under represented. Research conducted by McKinsey & Company, Scientific American and other sources showed that companies benefit from a diverse group of people and that companies with women leaders create more successful outcomes.

Research from an American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses in 2016 found that there were 11.3 million women-owned firms in the US, employing nearly nine million people and generating $1.6 trillion in revenue. Over the past nine years, this research highlighted that women-owned businesses have grown at a rate five times faster than the national average and represent 38% of the country’s businesses. Continue reading “Women-Owned Businesses: Sharing the Challenges & Rewards”

CPE Workshop Insights from Kerry Bauer, CTRS, CCLS

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play, children learn how to learn.” –Fred Donaldson

One major lesson you will learn in June at the CPE Workshop is the importance of play for all children—I have studied child development and learned from inspiring theorists such as Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bandura to name a few. These are also some of the theorists included in our CPE Workshop that will be discussed as well as other concepts, research and advocates on the power of play. My name is Kerry Bauer and I am a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and a Child Life Specialist (CCLS). My personal life and professional career have provided me experiences and opportunities with both typically and atypically developing children and their families. Continue reading “CPE Workshop Insights from Kerry Bauer, CTRS, CCLS”