By Ian Molyneaux
A MAN who has opened a new independent toy shop in Horsforth says he is confident he can compete with large retail chains and online stores.
Small traders faced with the increasing popularity of online shopping are forced to find innovative ways to ensure customers shop with them this Christmas.
Julio Tumalan is the new owner of 1 Toy Play 2 in Town Street – his first venture into retail after a career in the catering trade – and says he offers a unique service.
He said: “We recently had our son who reached the age of playing. People are always looking for toys and it’s nice to see children’s smiling faces.
“We hope to have a lot of sales, rotation of toys, lots of people coming in with ideas of what we can offer to them.
“We would like to have the opportunity to make people aware of where we are, and when competing with the big retailers that we are unique toyshop.”
Horsforth is an area that Mr Tulaman was very happy and keen to be a part of.
He said: “It’s a good area, a family area, people with a lot of families and a small community.”
Online retailer Amazon dominates Christmas sales worldwide. In 2016 it was estimated that over the festive period they delivered over a billion items.
But Mr Tulaman said shops like his offer something a bit different.
And other independent businesses in Horsforth town centre stressed the importance of the public supporting independent shops.
Matthew Chapman, a butcher at Morton’s of Horsforth, said: “People go to the supermarket because it is convenient, and while they’re doing the rest of the shop they can just get their meat.
“But we’re quite lucky as we’re across the road from the supermarket. We’re also cheaper and the quality is better.”
Kate College, 32, of Calverley, was in Horsforth today doing some Christmas shopping, but admitted: “Online shopping is my main way to shop. I don’t have a car and I have two children so online shopping is convenient.”