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  • What “Shop Local” Means to Us

    Five staff members at Learning Express Toys of Roseville wear "Shop Small" apparel. Learning Express Toys of Roseville, CA celebrates the #ShopSmall movement in 2015.

    Small Business Saturday is coming up on Nov. 26. For our franchisees, it’s an opportunity to celebrate that each Learning Express Toys store is a locally-owned and operated small business. Even though we have a nationwide footprint, our customers know that supporting their local Learning Express Toys means they’re supporting local families and keeping locally-owned businesses in their neighborhoods.

    Learning Express Toys proudly claims the title “Your Neighborhood Toy Store” because we are built on community connections. The first Learning Express was founded to help fund an elementary school, and partnering with local schools and organizations remains a vital part of our identity today as each franchisee strives to be a good community member.

    Five people wearing light blue t-shirts stand near a table laden with sensory toys. Learning Express Toys of Roseville, CA staff demonstrates sensory toys.

    Our stores help Girl Scouts get their badges. We host autism-friendly play days. We donate gift baskets to parent-teacher organizations. We work with libraries. We walk in parades among other local businesses and groups. We belong to our Chambers of Commerce. Our customers know this, and it sets Learning Express apart.

    “Shopping Local” means we know our customers, and our customers trust us. We have helped them find the perfect gift for birthday after birthday. We’ve helped them create Birthday Box registries, write letters to Santa, and we’ve painted their adorable faces at our events. We’ve carried loads of wrapped gifts to their cars and even dropped them off on our way home. We have built loyalty by building relationships, and that’s something you don’t get at big-box stores or on Amazon.

    A group of young girls holds up their rubber band Minions made on the Rainbow Loom. Girl Scouts learn how to create Minions using the Rainbow Loom at Learning Express Toys of Countryside, IL.

    The Learning Express Home Office supports franchisees in becoming a “Shop Local” destination by:

    -Providing Grab-n-Go Events with all the marketing materials and instructions needed to host themed events for your community

    -Creating and distributing press releases about events and partnerships

    -Identifying potential local partnership opportunities with libraries, mothers’ groups, schools and other local businesses

    -Sharing local partnership success stories from fellow Learning Express owners

    -Developing services like the Birthday Box program to deepen relationships with our customers

    -Creating national charity partnerships and connecting stores with their local chapters

    We would love to talk with you about how Learning Express Toys owners become valued members of their local business communities.

    To learn more about becoming a local business owner, please visit our franchise page.