Frustrated parents looking to distract their children has led to a run on toy sales at Raaj Chandarana’s Tara’s Londis in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

Raaj Chandarana Taras Londis

”One category that we have invested in during lockdown is our toys section. Kids are bored and their parents are running out of ideas to keep them occupied so they don’t mind spending £4 on a small toy.

We’ve always had a designated space for this category but we’ve had to replenish it a lot more regularly since lockdown began. We’re working closely with our supplier BJ Toys to make sure it’s kept full but we also haven’t been afraid to increase the price point and offer products that cost £7 or £8 which hasn’t put anyone off. We’ve also brought in more summer products like fans a bit early, partly due to the hot weather and also due to more people working from home.

The category that hasn’t been doing well during lockdown is the chewing gum category. It’s taken a bit of a nosedive due to fewer people being out.

What’s really helped me during lockdown has been a daily video call with other retailers. It’s kept me and others sane during this. We have a drink, laugh at each other’s haircuts and share our experiences. We use an app called HouseParty that allows people to join in the conversation without having to organise something formal.

Even though some elements of the lockdown have relaxed, some of our customers are still petrified to go out, regardless of what the government says so we offer them deliveries on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays free of charge.

To protect our staff, we put up a screen made by a local carpenter that reassures employees and customers that we’re taking things seriously, we’ll definitely keep that in place once the social distancing has been relaxed.”