These days, those in the know shop local to support the environment as well as their community. Kids' Ketch will join hundreds of locally owned stores across the country Saturday, Nov. 11, to celebrate the eighth 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. Kids' Ketch will offer fun, child-friendly activities such as Chuck-less the Pirate and his balloon creations, crafts to make, games to play, spinning the Wheel of Wow for prizes, and toy raffles to win.
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, a nonprofit 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," said Mosley. 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 Teresa Ford, owner of Kids' Ketch on Second Street in Lewes. "We love helping our local customers as well as the out-of-town returnees making their annual trek to Kids' Ketch for their holiday shopping. Our toy experts can help match up the appropriate toy for the kids on your shopping list."
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 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, go to ntsd.astratoy.org.