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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Toy shop celebrates first birthday

A TOY shop is celebrating its first anniversary with the launch of a new online venture.

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CO-OWNER: Rachel Fallows, right, with, from left, sisters Karen Stewart and Andrea Fleming JON GRANGER REF: 50011949B000

The Toy Barn at Millstones was set up by sisters Rachel Fallows, Andrea Fleming and Karen Stewart in Bootle and has had a good year, considering the economic climate, but is now looking to increase business and respond better to customer need by providing an online service (www.thetoybarn-millstones.co.uk)

Mrs Fallows, 34, of Haverigg, said: “It was always our intention to go online but it has taken longer than anticipated to get the website up and running and we are grateful for help from the West Cumbria Development Agency.

“We were hit by wintry weather which affected trade as people don’t want to travel but this way they can still shop with us and get it delivered to their door.

“We often get tourists in the shop and they always ask if we sell online as they want to recommend us to their friends. We’ve had some good feedback from customers.’’

Based in a beautifully restored barn in Bootle, the quaint shop is packed with traditional wooden toys, puppets, soft toys, games and baby gifts. Many items are also Fairtrade.

“Inspired by our children (we have six between us) we try to stock something for everyone from birth to 10 years,’’ says Rachel.

“We’ve found a good network of support in Millom through Millom Network Centre’s Business Forum and its links to the Chamber of Commerce and West Cumbria Development Agency.”

She said: “It’s nice to be able to act on feedback and we’re always looking for new items to stock. We’ve been able to put our ideas into practice and try different things such as art and craft days for children and toy selling parties to raise funds for local nurseries.

“We’ve had a really good response to these from the local community and have some regular customers who support us well.

“We were also able to introduce our loyalty card scheme this year, which rewards regular customers with a discount.”

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