CHICAGO, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- These days, those in the know "shop local" when stocking the kitchen pantry. Restaurants boasting locally sourced ingredients, meanwhile, increasingly draw crowds.
But support for local resources doesn't have to end at the refrigerator door. This holiday season, consumers everywhere can support their communities by shopping local stores for the best holiday toys. In return, those neighborhood independent toy stores support parents, grandparents and other gift-givers with expert advice on encouraging creative play among the children in their lives.
November 14 marks the sixth national Neighborhood Toy Store Day, an annual celebration in which independent toy shops kick off the holiday season with special events to introduce consumers to the benefits of shopping local. The day-long event will include child-friendly activities such as face painting, craft projects, live performances and more.
Specialty toy store owners are the real experts when it comes to choosing toys for kids,
said Kimberly Mosley, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting local toy shopping and creative, open-ended playtime for children. "These store owners spend time with kids day in and day out. They understand the value of play, and what types of toys encourage active, open-ended and creative playtime."
As a result, neighborhood toy stores offer a carefully curated product selection and provide trusted recommendations on quality toys that offer good value. Because they needn't adhere to a national sales plan like major chains, they can customize their offerings to specific community needs. And because they source products from both big-brand manufacturers and small, entrepreneurial companies, they introduce children to a world of toys that, often, can't be found elsewhere.
Local stores also make holiday toy shopping easier, by offering a personalized approach and additional customer service that contrasts with the sometimes frazzling experience of shopping large retailers.
In addition, shopping locally supports the community by creating jobs and preserving neighborhoods. Compared to chain stores, independent local businesses put a significantly larger share of revenue back into the local economy in the form of taxes, salaries and more. They also support environmental sustainability, by helping to maintain vibrant, walkable town centers, essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
For more information on Neighborhood Toy Store Day and a full listing of local events, visit ASTRA at http://www.astratoy.org/neighborhood-toy-store-day.asp.
With more than 1,700 members, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) is the largest association for companies in the specialty toy and children's products arenas. ASTRA and its member companies promote the growth of the toy industry by delivering products that serve children's best interests. For more information, visit www.astratoy.org.
Because community matters, ASTRA members thank you for shopping locally.