Bedford, MA Learning Express Inc., the nation’s largest educational toy franchisor, opens a flagship Learning Express Toys location—the first corporate-owned store since 1995—in the redeveloped Bedford Marketplace (Whole Foods plaza) in September. Adjacent to the toy store, Learning Express, Inc. is introducing a new concept: Learning Express Play, a children’s activity center and play museum for children ages 6 months through age 8.
As online shopping becomes increasingly competitive, Learning Express differentiates itself by offering interactive experiences that can’t be replicated online. The new Learning Express Play, born from this strategy, will host classes, birthday parties and open play.
Learning Express Play includes a 1,000-square-foot children’s gymnasium with a rock-climbing wall, an infant play area and Downtown Play, which features play areas inspired by New England townscapes and nationally-recognized children’s museums.
A Snack Café features coffee and natural, healthy food from Bedford’s Prince Street Café & Bakery.
Along with Learning Express Toys, the business occupies 7,500 square feet.
As with its other 120 toy store locations nationwide, Learning Express Toys of Bedford sets itself apart from the “big-box” stores with unique toys, gifts, and exclusive products for newborns through tweens. Learning Express Toys also provides in-store activities, visits from the most popular costumed characters, toy and game demonstrations, free gift wrapping, complimentary personalization of a variety of items, and a “Birthday Box” gift registry.
Learning Express, Inc. is headquartered in Devens. Its founder, Sharon DiMinico of Groton, opened the first Learning Express store in Acton in 1987. Learning Express Play is the brainchild of her daughter, Lauren Derse, and son-in-law, Mike Derse, of Harvard, who have two young boys.
The Grand Opening is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2016.