Scottsdale-based Kidstop prepares for Small Business Saturday

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Kate Tanner can tell you all about the latest toy trends, though she doesn’t want to say which toys are the most popular.

“So, it’s not a ‘hot toy’ because sometimes that ‘hot toy’ doesn’t get approved by the Chief Toy Officer. That’s more the fun of Kidstop,” Tanner said. “You can come here and see what your kids like. Are they artistic? Do they like to build? Maybe they are outdoors. Maybe they are a little restless and need to get that extra energy out of them. We’ll help you find toys to help you learn.

Tanner is the owner of Kidstop Toys and Books in Scottsdale. She has owned and operated her small business for 24 years, employing local teenagers and getting to know generations of Arizona families.

“That tall young man is the third of the Carn family,” she said, pointing to one of the employees behind the register.

Tanner was preparing for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday when ABC15 interviewed her.

That day, Kidstop was full of grandparents and grandchildren, moms and daughters, and of course, toys. But not just any toys. Toys that customers won’t always find in supermarkets or just a click away on Amazon.

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“When you think about the community, Kidstop has grown so deeply and enriched everyone in our community,” Tanner said.

And that sense of community prevailed even in the most difficult economic times. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Kidstop moved its inventory online, building a strong web presence, Tanner said.

“We had people come in here right when we opened from COVID and say, ‘How are you? What can we do?’ And we thought, ‘Just tell people about us,'” Tanner said. “And our customers took handfuls of our catalog and handed them out.”

According to Tanner, as inflation rose in the fall, business was slower. But she also turned a corner, making sure Kidstop is full of treats under $25 for parents who are especially concerned about their holiday budget.

“We’re trying to make sure that that $25 to $45 spot is protected. Because it’s a little bit more convenient than the more expensive toys,” she said. a little more even.”

Tanner said she also looks for toys that will last.

“I always challenge people and say how many hours did you have fun?” Tanner said. “You know the old joke? ‘The box is more fun than the toy.'” I cringe.

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And it’s Tanner’s attention to detail, she says, that keeps customers coming back. Kidstop wraps gifts for free and includes a special fun fete on top, a signature detail for parents and their kids.

“Our gift wrapping has been free from day one because we don’t do a loyalty program,” she said.

Her client’s children know when the presents are from “Miss Kate” because of the crumpled paper on top, so some families request that the crumpled paper be removed during the holidays.

“At Christmas time, they don’t want our signature on top, because that’s where the toys come from,” Tanner said. “So, employees think it’s just great right now that they don’t have to finish wrapping.”

Valley owned and operated stores like Kidstop benefit from consumers shopping locally on Small Business Saturdays.

According to statistics from Local First Arizona, a statewide nonprofit that works to support local Arizona businesses, for every $100 spent at a local business, $45 of it stays in the local economy.

“But the same $100 spent on a national brand, we only keep about $13,” said Sophia Lovash, director of retail operations for Local First Arizona. “When you shop local, you can support jobs. And our local business owners hire local print shops, local accountants, local graphic designers. So that this fund can recirculate as many times as we need. And we all benefit from it. “

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Lovasch said Local First Arizona currently has more than 3,000 local businesses, including Kidstop, and there are many ways to support locally owned and operated businesses at Small Business Saturday and beyond. Additionally, she noted that shopping local means supporting members of your community.

“They’re going to have conversations with you, they’re going to get to know you,” Lovash said. “They will get [to know] you by name. And it really is a more personal experience. “

And Kidstop, to its credit, offers an enjoyable experience for shoppers looking for baby toys, something for mom, grandma, dad, and even the family dog.

“When you work with people who are trying to help you and promote you, you give and they give back,” Tanner said. “It’s the way we work.”


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