Shop Local: Toy shop launches Christmas toy drive after lockdown support
- Credit: Archant
One Weston shop has been thriving during the coronavirus pandemic after moving closer to the town’s high street.
G3, in Meadow Street, relocated days before the first lockdown in March resulting in a huge boost in trade.
The shop was previously called Poptastic, as it speciailised in Funko Pops, but its owner John Tanock decided to branch out into the toy market, which has added to its success.
He said: “There is no way we would have survived lockdown in our old store.
“People would stumble into the old store and say ‘this is great, when did you get here?’ and I had to tell them we had been there five years.
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“We moved here 20 days before lockdown came into effect.
“We have gone from strength to strength – we just were not getting the footfall in our last location, just down the road.
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“Our lease came up in March and we saw this and jumped at the chance to get that little bit closer to the high street. It’s 100 times better.”
The store has been given a fresh coat of paint and new signs, courtesy of neighbouring business the T-Shirt Shop.
John said: “We had a rebrand because we started selling mugs and other things so we became G3 Geek Gifts Galore.
“In the other shop, we were going week to week. Moving has made a huge difference.
“The change in direction has also helped – people were screaming out for a toy shop.
“We’ve had a 100 per cent turn-around. We weren’t expecting it to do as well as it did, especially with the lockdown when we were closed for three months.
“When the figures came for the end of September, I couldn’t believe how busy it was.
“We are very pleased. It’s hard to keep up some days.”
John believes independent stores are in a better position to ride out the pandemic, compared to national retailers.
He said: “The high street is not what it used to be – we’ve lost Argos, Peacocks, Animal. But the big boys cannot keep up, they cannot change fast enough.
“They cannot adapt to all these new changes as they have big overheads. It is the little guys like me who can change within a week.”
Although non-essential shops are now closed until December 2 due to the national lockdown, customers can still buy from G3 by using its click and collect service.
The store is closed for browsing, but shoppers can see what it has to offer through its Facebook page and via Ebay.
G3 has some of this year’s most wanted Christmas gifts in store including Gotta Go Flamingo, FlipSlide game, Baby Yoda from the Mandalorian and the Pokemon Carry Case Playset.
The store also offers a free local delivery service on all orders placed by phone on 01934 623755 or online.
John is also running a toy drive this Christmas to say thank you to the people of Weston for supporting his business over the past five years, especially during the pandemic.
He wanted to help out families who are struggling due to job losses and is appealing for people to donate to the campaign.
The money will be used to buy toys to donate to Weston Foodbank over the festive period.
He said: “We are doing a toy drive because we have done so well and Weston people have supported us throughout the pandemic.
“We know local families are going to struggle this Christmas with buying toys and putting food on the table, so we wanted to do what we could to help out.
“People can donate money which I’ll use to purchase toys at wholesale price and donate to Weston Foodbank.
“I wanted to give something back to the people of Weston to thank them for their support, and I know this is something they will appreciate.”
People can pop in store to make a donation, or log on to gofundme.com/f/g3s-toys-for-kids-wsm