The Derbion toy store will double in size by moving into a new store

A Derbion toy store will double in size by moving to a brand new store in the city’s mall.

Toy Planet, which was just crowned Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (multi-store) at the 2021 Toy Industry Awards, will soon be moving from its current unit next to Starbucks on the ground floor.

The retailer’s new unit will be located next to Trespass on the ground floor and will see the brand add over 1,200 square feet to its footprint.

The company, which does business as Midco Toys, also has a Toymaster store at The Octagon shopping center in Burton.

Owner Dave Middleton and Derbion Store Manager Rob Simms received the coveted Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (Multi-Store) award at the London Toy Fair, held at Olympia from London at the end of January.

This is not the first time they have received the accolade, having previously received the award in 2013, reports Staffordshire Live.

Mr Simms, who 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.

“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.”

Rob Simms, Derby Store Manager, with the Independent Toy Retailer of the Year (Multi-Store) award won by Midco Toys / Toy Planet

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

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 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 to do and we want to keep improving.

“We are currently in the process of relocating the Derby store. It will continue to be central but will move to premises that are twice the size.”

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