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Barkingside’s Toyology store to reopen with new owner

PUBLISHED: 14:02 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 14:02 24 April 2013

Amit Parekh outside Toyology

Amit Parekh outside Toyology

Archant

A failing toy store in Barkingside will be relaunched tomorrow thanks to an experienced business man who said it would be a shame for it to close.

Toyology, in High Street, which shut in March due to a drop in sales, has been taken over by Amit Parekh.

The 43-year-old said: “I originally visited the store to look at buying some shelves, but I really liked the corner spot and the nice High Street, and felt positive that I could make it a success.

“I felt it was such a shame it was closing and the landlord seemed keen to keep it as a toy store.”

Mr Parekh, of Mill Hill, who has worked in the retail business for 17 years, added: “I already have two much larger stores, so I felt I could bring a lot of experience and expertise, as well as being able to buy bigger.

“When I first saw the store I thought there was a lot of wasted space, so now I have increased the floorspace by 40 per cent.

“I also have a greater buying power for stock.”

The shop shut after owner, Gary Diamond, said the business had been losing customers to Westfield shopping centre in Stratford and pinpointed his store’s terminal decline on last summer’s Olympics.

Mr Parekh, who decided to keep the store’s name so it is familiar for residents, has refitted the whole shop and is excited about the challenge.

He said: “The high street is getting increasingly difficult for independent businesses, but you must be proactive and listen to the customers.

“You must know your shoppers and give them a personal service that larger stores are unable to do. I have also taken all the staff that worked there before.”

The businessman will merge the website with his own well-established site www.moonstoystore.com.

Work on the £2.1million revamp of Barkingside High Street, which will create a town square and “pocket park” in Virginia Gardens, is set to start in June and be completed by March 2014.

A council spokesman said: “The planning application for some elements of the project will be heard by Regulatory Committee next month.

“If plans are approved, work will begin in June as per the schedule.”


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