We love Didsbury Village in South Manchester. If we’re not sure what we want to do, or where we want to go, Didsbury is one of our ‘go to’ destinations that really does have everything. Great food and cafes – check out La Chouquette for some delicious pastries and out of this world coffee! Didsbury Park offers the kids a great chance to burn off some energy! And, if they’ve been good we’ll head to Giddy Goat Toys, located just off the main street, opposite the post office
The kids love Giddy Goat Toys for obvious reasons. And so do we! We’re now at the stage where both kids have hectic social lives with a seemingly never ending series of birthday parties. We try to not to use online vendors like Amazon, so when we go to Didsbury, we’ll try to stock up on toys from the toy shop for the next few birthdays.
It was with great excitement therefore, that we managed to secure an exclusive interview – the second in our series of “Lets Go Meet” interviews, having recently caught up with Alex from 8BY8 football – with Amanda, the owner and founder of Giddy Goat Toys where we learnt:
- What their current best seller is;
- How they manage to stay up to date with current trends and discover what the next big thing is;
- And in the age of online shopping, how they can compete with online sellers and larger bricks and mortar stores.
But before we go on to the interview, check out the particulars:
How To Find Giddy Goat Toys
- Online – website
- Shop address: 2 Albert Hill Street, Didsbury, Manchester M20 6RF
Shop Opening Hours
- Monday – Saturday 09:30 – 17:30
- Sunday 11:30 – 16:00
🎤 Interview with Amanda: Owner of Giddy Goat Toys
Interview date: 28 November 2023
With a vast array of toys and games, how does Giddy Goat Toys stay informed about the latest child development research to ensure the products are not only fun but also educational?
There are several publications in the Toy Retail sector that highlight new products on the market and the ways in which they help children’s development whether that is physical, mental or emotionally. I also meet with representatives from a number of suppliers through the year who will show me product samples and talk through their benefits; plus I attend toy fairs to check out new potential suppliers and view the various items that the different suppliers have available.
Can you share insights on the most unexpected best-seller from the past year and what you believe contributed to its popularity?
Our current best seller is the Magnetic Monkey Mates which are just £4.99. They’re available in different colours and have little magnets in their hands and feet so they can be wrapped around children’s wrists or hung from anywhere metal. We didn’t expect them to be so popular but I think they are selling so well because they are an affordable treat, they are tactile, can be linked together and are nice little fiddle toys.
How do you curate the selection of toys for different age groups, and what trends are you currently seeing in the preferences of children and parents?
I try to get something for every age and every price point and toys that are purely fun as well as toys with an education aspect. Through the trade press and the toys fairs and reps I meet, I get to see a lot of the products that are available, to pull together the selection that you see in the shop, based on fulfilling these criteria and buying from over 25 different suppliers, so I have a lot of variety.
What strategies does Giddy Goat Toys employ to compete with large online retailers, and how can customers support their local toy shops in the digital age?
We offer various different payment options including Buy Now Pay Later via Clearpay, Klarna and Laybuy and that is the main driver of our online sales. We also have a chat function on our website and messages will come through to my phone and I will respond at all hours when possible so customers get a very quick and personal response to queries.
In terms of how people can support us and other small businesses I would really urge people not to just default to the main online sellers – think about the shops you like to visit and see if they have their own e-commerce sites – many do and will appreciate your business and give you better service than the online giants.
Has Giddy Goat Toys considered hosting in-store events or workshops to engage the community, and if so, what might these events involve?
Yes pre covid we had some book reading events, also lego making and hama bead events. Obviously covid put a stop to these and our shop is now too rammed with stock to have space for events. Because we now have so many online sales coming in and less in store we have to maximise our space accordingly.
What are the challenges of maintaining a diverse inventory in terms of educational value and playability, and how you address these challenges?
For us a very basic lack of space prevents us from having everything and in terms of meeting everyone’s needs. It’s very difficult, but we do try to have things for all ages and all prices and a variety of toys that are pure nonsense, as well as purely educational but with most things being both educational and fun.
How does the team stay connected with the local Didsbury community, and are there any community events or collaborations in the pipeline?
I’m a member of the Didsbury Traders Association and a regular attendee of the monthly traders meetings. Plus we are all connected via a traders Whatsapp group. We follow other businesses and community groups and children’s classes on Instragram, and will try to support others via sharing posts to reach a wider audience.
With the trend towards more sustainable and eco-friendly products, how is Giddy Goat Toys adapting its product range to reflect this movement?
We have long been advocates of being eco friendly so already worked with a number of suppliers who were using sustainable sourced wooden toys, who use vegetable inks and card packing instead of plastic. The number of eco friendly products is growing now and that is coming down from our suppliers who are responding to consumer demand, so we are seeing a lot less packaging.
For example, most of our cards suppliers have ditched the cellophane wrap and many companies are decreasing the amount of single use plastics and product packaging. So actually this is happening organically without us having to adapt especially given we already worked with suppliers who were eco friendly.
Could you detail how customer feedback has shaped the store, and what is the most actionable piece of advice you’ve received from a customer?
The best thing about having a shop and not just being online is seeing the children’s reaction and this is better than the adult feedback!!!
Hearing younger ones getting giddy and seeing them playing on the train set we have out in the shop and hearing older ones talking about the things they would like for their birthday or Christmas as they walk round the shop is fantastic and because I have a loyal group of local customers many will tell me about particularly successful toys they have bought which makes me confident in recommending them to other people