Toy sales boost during pandemic, good news for small toy stores

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Bruder trucks are stacked up high up at Professor Toy in North Fresno, one of the best sellers for kids.

This holiday season, employees have something to be jolly about.

"Excellent. We're actually up this year," said Patti McPike, employee.

This is good news considering the store was closed for more than a month during shelter in place.

The toy industry has seen a 20 percent increase in sales. Experts point to people's spending and the pandemic.

"Twofold. I think they like to support local businesses and the kids have been inside for so long. They want to reward them, I don't know if that's the word. It's a place to come for the kids too," McPike said.

They've sold more puzzles and games.

Inside activities or gifts that can stand time was something mom Dana Pollack was on the hunt for.

"I try to always do that. I try to support local as much as possible," she said.

Employees showed us some of their toys for people of all ages, like U-Gear.

They like the challenge of finding that perfect gift.

"I know a majority of my customers, I know what they are looking for and you just get that personalized touch that you don't get from ordering something. You know it's right here, you don't have to wait for it to be delivered," McPike said.

The store employs about nine people and workers hope it will continue to stay open.

"It's really day by day. It's hard to tell until it's all over with, but so far so good," McPike said.

A local store hoping to give joy one present at a time.

Professor Toy will have extended hours. They will be open Christmas Eve for those last-minute shoppers. They say every sale helps them during this holiday season.
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