Despite the harsh climate for toy stores, ToyChamp is expanding rapidly in Low Countries. In the next month, the chain is to open three new stores in Antwerp (Belgium), Leeuwarden and Helmond (both in the Netherlands). More openings are still on the cards.
Big stores in shopping centres
The difficult circumstances (with the bankruptcies of Toys “R” Us and Intertoys as low points for now) do not deter ToyChamp from investing in expansion: the group currently has sixteen stores, but sees opportunities now its major competitor Intertoys has made way. On 28 June, the chain opens a 1200 sqm store in Antwerp (in shopping centre Den Tir), offering a wide range of toys, multimedia, gadgets and seasonal articles. Hoping to offer a special shopping experience, the chain offers shops-in-the-shop of brands like Lego and Playmobil.
The Netherlands will see the opening of two stores in July, both in former locations of its competitor Intertoys XL. On the 4th, a 1800 sqm store will open in Leeuwarden, on the 12th a 1500 sqm store in Helmond follows suit. Two more Dutch stores (in Arnhem and Alkmaar) are scheduled to open this autumn. Last year, the company opened a new logistical centre in Genk (Belgium), tripling its capacity - and is looking to capitalise on that.
Owners of the ToyChamp chain is the Nolmans family, who used to have six eponymous toy stores until they were sold to investor Mitiska in 2000 and turned into Fun stores. After that, the family opened the first ToyChamp stores in the Netherlands, where they currently have nine such stores. A later return to Belgium saw the company open another seven stores, mostly in suburban areas.