Burton toy store named the best independent store in the UK and that’s why

A popular Burton toy store had reason to celebrate after being named the best in the country – and now bosses have revealed the secret to their success.

Midco Toys in The Octagon Shopping Center won the 2021 Toy Industry Awards for Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (Multi-Store).

Owner Dave Middleton also owns the store in Derbion Shopping Centre, Derby, which puts them in the multi-store category. The award has been presented to the London Toy Fair team – and it’s not the first time they’ve received the coveted accolade.

Learn more about the best stories from Burton and Swadlincote

Store manager Rob Simms explained that they had entered for the award before finding out they had been shortlisted in the top three. The winner was announced at the London Toy Fair at London’s Olympia.

They had already received the award in 2013.

Mr Simms, who manages the Derby store and has worked for Midco for two years, said they were delighted to have received the award and he shared some of the reasons for their success.

He said, “Hard work, dedication and knowledge. We always have the latest toys and the most unusual ones too. We don’t just stay in one lane, we branch out and do other things too. We’re pretty hot on Anime and we have an adult collection with horror and things like that.

The price for Midco

“We go for unusual companies that others don’t work with like Slime Party UK, we were one of the first to work with them. Dave found them early on and started working with us. They even made exclusive slime for each store.

“We also have Kenji that we brought into the store, we got them early. Dave discovered them at one of the toy fairs. Dave will be hunting too, he’s not resting on his laurels. If anything’s hot , he’s always trying to find it and making sure the store has stock.

“Social media is big, we have a lot of buzz there.”

Speaking of getting the award, Mr Simms said it meant a lot after a busy and difficult year. The store was formerly based in the High Street, but last year moved to larger premises in The Octagon shopping center in Burton.

He said: “It’s fantastic validation for all the hard work over the last year. Since the lockdown we had after Christmas 2020 it was a question of so what do we do? We found a new store and everything sorted out very quickly.

The Midco certificate

“The Octagon couldn’t help us enough and we came back after the lockdown here and ready to go. It was fantastic.

“It’s never been better and the new store has made a huge difference, not only in terms of footfall, but also in the atmosphere of the store and the management of the business. It’s so much better.

“I would like to say thank you to our customers and I hope they will continue to support us. We are always looking for the best thing and we want to keep improving. We are currently in the process of relocating the Derby store. It will remain in the center but will move to premises twice as large.”

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