HobbyTown is the largest nationwide footprint of hobby/toy retail stores in the U.S., with nearly 150 franchise stores in 41 states. Established in 1985, HobbyTown retail stores have evolved from a merchandise mix of traditional hobby lines (model trains, radio control, plastic models, rockets, etc.) to a broader mix with a growing emphasis on specialty toys. HobbyTown stores are well suited to expand and support toy sales, as they are very accustomed to providing customers with a shopping experience that goes beyond the sale with in-store events, activities, and a website to support omnichannel shopping.
The HobbyTown Franchise Service & Support facility based in Lincoln, Neb. recently reorganized to better support the strategic direction to expand toy sales with a buying and merchandising team under the direction of Merchandising Strategy SVP Tim Van Ert. HobbyTown corporate maintains vendor relationships to support franchise direct purchasing programs and product distribution from Lincoln, Neb. The annual HobbyTown National Convention held in Lincoln, Neb from July 10 to 12 will host a buying trade show that will feature an expanded presence of specialty toy vendors. See www.hobbytownconvention.com for exhibitor information.
HobbyTown franchise stores located in markets previously serviced by Toys “R” Us are preparing to fill the void with expanded inventory and dedicated merchandising space for the toy category. Toy manufacturers seeking product placement in HobbyTown are advised to contact lead toy buyer Celeste Vanderlip at 203.257.4001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.