We’ve had a secret brewing here at Fat Brain Toys for several months now, so it feels so good to finally let it out…WE’RE OPENING A NEW RETAIL STORE!
Opening this May in an exciting development in Overland Park, Kansas, this new store will become just our second “brick & mortar” toy store. While most of our customers know us because of our online toy store, physical stores serve an important role for Fat Brain Toys AND our customers.
But over the last several months, I’ve had a number of interesting discussions with friends and industry contacts about this next step for Fat Brain Toys. I thought you might find some of these discussions interesting too! To protect their identities, I’ve substituted suitable monikers.
Online Eddie: “Why hassle with opening a retail store…online is the future.”
Me: “Yes, online shopping is a very important trend and where we got our start in the toy business. But did you know that online still only represents 6% of all retail sales? Done right, retail stores can build sustainable brands and allow businesses to connect with their customers in entirely new ways.”
Captain Obvious: “You guys are doing everything backwards.”
Me: “True. We started out online first, then began designing our own toys. When many toy catalogs were cutting back circulation or exiting the business, we started a direct mail catalog. And when many traditional retailers began focusing online, we began opening stores. I can’t say that we planned it this way - but it sure made sense for us!”
Curious Kurt: “What’s your expansion strategy with your stores?”
Me: “To be honest, we don’t really have one. Our overriding strategy is to put more good toys in the hands of more kids. If we can achieve that by opening a new store, great. If we can do that online, that’s works too. If we can achieve that by designing great toys for other like-minded retailers, that’s cool too. We aren't trying to replace your neighborhood toy store, but rather bring more visibility to quality, specialty toys & games.”
Reaper Rick: “Shopping malls are either dead or dying.”
Me: “Traditional malls are definitely undergoing a transition, that’s why I love the Prairiefire development that we’ll be a part of. Whereas most malls are all about simply buying stuff, Prairiefire is all about entertainment and experience. With the American Museum of Natural History serving as an anchor, this development is unlike any ‘shopping mall’ you’ve ever seen!”
Mo Local: “Why choose Overland Park, Kansas for your second store?”
Me: “Actually, it kind of chose us! For sure the Prairiefire development was a significant draw. But as we got to know the community of Overland Park, and even the entire Johnson County, it was obvious the focus and pride they put into the education of their children. We felt that Fat Brain Toys would be a natural fit with an environment centered around the positive development of kids.”
Opening a new store is a lot of work, but we couldn’t be more excited for it’s launch! If you live in the Kansas City area, stay tuned for additional announcements about our grand opening celebration. If you live anywhere else in the world, FatBrainToys.com is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, standing by ready to serve you!
Click here for our official press release: Fat Brain Toys Announces New Retail Store at Prairiefire in Overland Park, Kansas