On September 29th, the InterContinental Dubai Festival City hosted the second annual Time Out Dubai Kids Awards. Celebrating the efforts of more than 60 individuals, events and retailers, the ceremony crowned its 2015 winners. These were named across numerous categories covering clothes retailers to family hotels, restaurants and local attractions
Unlike similar awards in the region, Time Out organizers declared the winners using a judging panel of parenting experts and resident journalists. Influence from advertisers wasn’t permitted and no external nominations were considered. It was this honesty and transparency that provided the setting for a very special evening. The awards are now regarded as a watchdog for the city’s best, family oriented establishments.
Big winners included Baby Souk for the Best Online Kids Store and Kidzania for Best Edutainment Venue. The coveted award of Best Toy Store was given to none other than recently established The Toy Store. Following close behind, Hamleys and the Early Learning Centre gained recognition and were highly commended.
Launched in 2004, The Toy Store brand now boasts an extensive network of shops located throughout the Middle East. This fast growing business has made a significant impact on the UAE retail market, which is no surprise given their dedication to providing the latest and greatest toys in an engaging environment.
Unlike competitors, the shop holds smaller volumes of stock but provides consumers with a greater selection of products across a broad range of games and toys. Aside from selling all the major toy brands from Disney to Lego and Barbie, the retailer is famed for its consumer experience. The in-store entertainment is a hit with both parents and children where customers can enter a world of imagination. With live workshops, demonstrations and interactive entertainment, The Toy Store continues to gain an edge over the competition.
Their ‘play before pay’ ethos which can be found across all their shops is another feature which is encouraging parents to shop here. Children are allowed to engage with toys before choosing to buy them. This interaction provides reassurance for parents, ensuring the toy can add real value and won’t be discarded within a matter of days.
Parents also appreciate the commitment of staff members where customer service is the priority. A committed team have the ability to interact with the younger generation, provide advice on toys and show demonstrations.
Aside from the shop’s impressive layout and service, the brand remains conscious of the consumer’s safety and security. The store is designed with younger individuals in mind. Bespoke fittings and specially designed counters provide a safe environment for children to play with no sharp edges or potential hazards.
The recent launch of its first debut UK location in London is now set to rival the likes of Hamleys and Harrods. Opened on September 24th, the 27,000 sq. ft. property on Oxford Street is the first of several to be located throughout the UK. Given its overwhelming success in the demanding markets of the UAE, this latest venture is expected to be a huge success.
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