Now home to an array of more than 10,000 colorful children’s toys and books, The Wooden Toy made its beginnings – and earned its name – specializing primarily in wooden toys in the town of Rocky Hill, Connecticut.
The Wooden Toy’s owner, David Ekwall, first opened his doors for business 25 years ago. His accounting background fueled his desire to open a business of his own. And with children ages four and one at the time, a toy store was the perfect fit for a family business. As David’s family grew, so did The Wooden Toy – now 5,500 square feet located in Wethersfield.
Complete with a separate play area for the young at heart, the store has something for everyone – from birth to pre-teen and beyond. “It is our mission to ensure we carry a diverse selection of fun, educational quality books and toys,” says David. And with a combined total of more than 100 years experience, The Wooden Toy’s staff is equipped to help customers find the perfect toy for every child on their list.
Beloved among the local community for its knowledgeable staff and unique assortment of toys, The Wooden Toy joined the Kibo retail fulfillment network back in 2004 (formally Shopatron) as a way to increase sales and expand their reach.
“Kibo gives us a nice boost in business, accounting for about 10% of our total annual sales,” David explains. “And by checking what is being ordered, I am able to discover items that customers are looking for that I may not be stocking. This gives me the chance to get the popular items customers are searching for on my shelves.”
And, although The Wooden Toy joined the Kibo family primarily to expand their reach beyond the immediate community, there has been an unexpected additional perk. “I’ve also picked up new local customers who find out about The Wooden Toy when I ship through Kibo,” David says. In many cases, this leads to incremental sales and returning local customers – a win-win for the business and customer alike.
So, what’s next for this growing business? “We’d love to see more brands we carry, such as Lego, Playmobil, Smartlab and Thinkfun, join the Kibo network,” David says. “The more orders we can fulfill, the better!”