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Toy shop vows to keep on fighting

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 08, 2014

28/01/13 Toy award - High Street, Burton Toy industry awards - Independent toy retailer of the year, Midco Toymaster.....L-R: Gareth Walker (assistant), Edward Harvey (Mgr), David Middleton (owner)..

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AN independent retailer who set up his own toy shop in Burton 12 years ago said he will ‘not go down without a fight’ after it was revealed that international toy chain Toys R Us will move into the town.

Dave Middleton, who owns the award-winning Midco Toys, in High Street, said he wished his new competitors good luck but vowed to keep going, with a raft of promotions and a newly established loyalty card.

Mr Middleton, who was born and bred in Newhall and Burton, initially had a £100,000 turnover in his first year of trading and now boasts £2.5 million last year.

He said: “I say good luck to them (Toys R Us) because I am going to give them hell.

“I have had this business for 12 years and I live in Burton. They are coming into my hometown.”

But rather than sitting back and waiting to see what happens, Mr Middleton will be running a 12-week promotion for customers, giving away free toys, and is introducing a new loyalty cards featuring stamps.

He added: “We won’t go down without a fight.”

Due to its success, Midco employs 20 local people and also has a store in Derby’s Westfield shopping centre, along with its Burton shop.

It was announced earlier this week that Toys R Us will move into the former HMV store in Coopers Square shopping centre in just two weeks and it will be one of the first smaller stores which are featuring in town centre areas.

It will create seven new local jobs as well as drafting in existing employees from other stores.

The major toy chain, which usually sets up in large warehouses at the edge of town, has recently opened four smaller shops, specifically in town centres, with Burton being one of them.

The news of the new toy chain was welcomed by Dave Chadfield, manager of Coopers Square shopping centre, who said: “I think it is good for the town and is much overdue. We haven’t had anything like this before.

“It will be a good draw and positive for the town, drawing people in as it is a worldwide brand.”

The store opens on Monday, June 16.

MAIL readers took to the Facebook page to welcome news that Toys R Us will be moving into Burton:

Alistair Kennedy wrote: ‘Great news. It shouldn’t affect Midco. Just look at the toy shops in the Westfield, Derby. There are about five quite close. The competition is healthy.

‘I imagine they will use the store as a click & collect, so that you are able to get whatever you want from there entire stock range.

‘They must believe it is worth it otherwise they would not risk the overheads. Plus it should bring jobs and hopefully attract more businesses to populate the town centre. All we need now is cheaper or free parking in the town.’

Tom Cox wrote: ‘Best thing that’s ever happened to Burton!’

Lorraine Hughes said: ‘Any thing is better than the shop standing there empty.’

Victoria Egginton said: ‘Bloody brilliant. We don’t have to go all the way to Derby. I hope its a decent size store not some little thing.’

Stacey Walker, Denice Hughes and Sarah Yeomans all said it was brilliant news.

Beverley Jo said: About time I say. At least I can go shop there when I visit family. Sick of having to drive distance for a decent store.’

Others were concerned about the affect it will have on Midco Toys with Ian Thompson saying: ‘What about Midco Toys? Isn’t this going to put strain on them? Another little shop getting muscled out by a giant brand.’

But Lizzie Lavill said: ‘Midco is a gaming store. I don’t think it (Toys R Us) will go down as well as expecting as it’s going end up just selling the basics of toys and nothing more like the bigger stores so you will probably still need visit Derby and Birmingham if you are looking for something particular.”

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