Popular toy shop preparing to close its doors after 30 years
PUBLISHED: 19:30 12 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:49 13 February 2020
A well-known independent toy shop is preparing to close its doors after over 30 years of trading.
Toytown on Church Street in Woodbridge will be closing at the end of the month after three decades.
"It's been in the same location for 34 years or so," said Simon Adams, who owns the shop alongside his sister Kym Blowers.
The shop was previously managed by Peter Sheldrake for 28 years, before the siblings purchased it around five-and-a-half years ago.
Now, however, they are planning on shutting up shop for the final time.
"There's a number of reasons really," said Mr Adams.
"The internet does not do us any favours and the business rates don't help.
"My health has also not been the best."
Reaction to the store's closure has been universally sad.
"We are doing a closing down sale," said Mr Adams.
"It's surprising the people who have come who I have not seen for years.
"People are very sad."
Mr Adams recently marked 40 years of working in the toy industry.
He started out in 1989 and ran the toy shop in Heath Road, Ipswich for around 26 years before moving over to Woodbridge.
During his time selling toys Mr Adams believes one has stood the test of time better than others.
"I really like Sylvanian Families. They have been going for years," said Mr Adams.
"When I first came into the trade they were the toy of the year.
"We sell absolutely loads of them."
Mr Adams said that other traditional board games, like Monopoly, also remained popular through the decades.
Despite perennial favourites Mr Adams said he had seen a lot of changes in the types of toys that children had been wanting to play with.
"Children are on their tablets now," said Mr Adams.
"Toys used to be still bought by 12 or 13-year-old children but now by the time they get to ten they are getting out of toys."
Mr Adams also said that less outdoor games were used by children these days.
"Kids don't want to play outdoors they want to sit in," said Mr Adams.
Toytown will close for the final time on February 29.
John Risby, director of Choose Woodbridge, said: "Toytown has served generation after generation for more than 30 years and has been a much-loved member of our community in Woodbridge.
"It is always extremely sad to lose a stalwart business with a long history and affiliation with our town and we are sad to hear that the owners felt that the rise in online shopping, amongst other reasons was having an impact on their business.
"Our role at Choose Woodbridge is to support independent stores as best we can, to help them weather changes in the retail sector and continue to thrive despite growing competition from chains, big high street brands and internet superstores.
"Woodbridge is very lucky to boast so many unique independent stores and it is this which keeps footfall strong and has helped us retain a loyal customer base. However, we need everyone to continue to support their local businesses or risk losing them altogether."