Franchising

Join the largest toy franchise in America! Find out how to start your own Learning Express Toys franchise in your area and read what our store owners have to say about being a part of the Learning Express family. Learn more about new store openings, our annual franchise convention, and community outreach!
  • Kansas Franchise Business Opportunity - Learning Express the Educational Toy Store Franchise

    Educational Toy Franchise, Learning Express Toys, Announces Nationwide Growth

    Community Based Local Toy Store Chain is Expanding

    The national educational toy store franchise Learning Express Toys, winner of the 2012 Franchise Business Review Specialty Retail Category, is expanding at an average of one new toy store per month. Now, with more than 130 franchise stores located across the United States, Learning Express Toys seeks to expand into additional areas of Kansas.

    “Typically our new franchisees have no retail management or business ownership experience,” says Linda Moore, Learning Express Toys director of franchise development. “From the start we are there to make sure the grand opening of the Learning Express Toys location is an efficient and effective event. It is vital that the franchisees are comfortable with their new business.”

    At the corporate headquarters of Learning Express Toys, the team ensures that all franchisees benefit from a strong brand, group purchasing power, lease negotiation, store marketing and design, and business analytics.  It’s not all work, though. “Franchisees have dedicated their working life to play,” says Moore. And, each franchisee understands that the right toys profoundly impacts child development!

    To learn more about owning a Learning Express Toys franchise, visit learningexpress.com/franchises or contact Linda Moore directly at (800) 436-8697.

    About Learning Express Toys Learning Express Toys is the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores with more than 130 locations across the country, each one locally owned and operated. Learning Express Toys provides an extraordinary shopping experience with knowledgeable sales staff who offer expert advice on choosing the perfect toy, for every child, for every occasion. The Learning Express Toys  product mix is carefully selected from manufacturers around the world and each toy has exceptional play value. A birthday gift registry, free gift wrapping, free personalization, civic fundraising, and customer VIP programs make each Learning Express Toys store an integral part of its community.

  • Learning Express Toys Donation to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital

    Greetings, Learning Express Readers!

    Last week on the blog we gave you a behind the scenes look at the annual Learning Express Toys convention. What we didn’t have a chance to tell you about was the incredible donation our vendors made to the Monroe Carroll Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. It was pretty spectacular!

    As you’ll recall from last week, one of the highlights of the convention is the vendor expo. Over 120 toy vendors fly in from around the country—and each vendor sets up a booth on our expo floor. If you took a walk around the show floor in Nashville this year you’d see household names like ALEX and Melissa & Doug, as well as some newcomers like Tegu and Lollaland. Store owners could be found spinning on Spooner Boards, trying their hand at Speed Stacking, and even learning to tight rope walk on Slack Lines.

    Come 3pm on the last day of the vendor expo, it’s time for vendors to pack up their toys and head home. Each year, many of our vendors generously donate their toys to a local group or nonprofit rather than ship the product back home. In the months before the convention the Home Office works with local store owners to decide who should benefit from the generous donation from vendors. This year, Connie Edmonds from our Franklin, TN store, suggested we partner with the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.

    Volunteers from the hospital joined us for the pack up—and it was quite a sight to see! Vendors donated over 3000 toys,A woman speaks while a man tapes her with a video camera in a room with boxes and before getting loaded into the truck they were organized by the area of the hospital they would benefit most. Some were put aside as birthday gifts for sick children, some were reserved for the toy lending library, some were assigned to the age specific play areas, and others were chosen for the complimentary “holiday shop” where parents can pick out age appropriate toys for sick children and siblings. If you’d like to see a few of the toys that were donated, check out Connie from Franklin chatting with The Tennessean!

    A few of us from the Home Office had the opportunity to visit the Monroe Carroll Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt the day after this vendor donation was made. We met with Stephanie Van Dyke (their Director of Volunteer Services) who gave us a tour around the hospital. We got to hear about the creative ways the toys will be put to use to make medical treatment less scary and overwhelming for kids, as well as see the parts of the hospital that the toys will directly benefit--like the toy lending library and play rooms.

    The hospital relies on toy donations and couldn’t have been more delighted by the generous gifts from our vendors—and we were told that it was it’s the biggest toy donation the hospital has ever received! We’d like to say a big thank you to all the vendors who made this wonderful gift possible.

    Talk to you again soon! Kathryn

  • Learning Express Toys Convention 2013

    Greetings, Learning Expressions Readers!

    I hope you all enjoyed your time off this week. I have to say the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays—it doesn’t get much better than sunshine, fireworks, and quality cookout time with the family.  Here at Learning Express though, the week before the 4th is also one of our favorite times of year. For the last 16 years, that’s the week Learning Express Toys has held its highly anticipated annual company convention. Members of the Home Office, store owners, and toy vendors from around the country gather together to learn, connect, and most importantly PLAY together. This year’s convention was held in Nashville, TN at the gorgeous (and gigantic!) Gaylord Opreyland Hotel. In today's blog I’m going to give you a behind the scenes look at what it was like to attend this year’s convention—here are a few of the highlights!

    Learn Education is a huge element of this annual get together. We kick off our first day at convention with small group training for our first year owners. They get to know each other a little better and pick up tips on buying, merchandising, marketing, and more.

    roundtable session at the learning express 2013 conventionThe second day at convention we all gather together to hear from a selected keynote speaker. This year we were lucky enough to hear from Shep Hyken, who taught us about creating “moments of magic” for our customers—and even showed us a few magic tricks while he was at it!

    Next up after the keynote speaker session was the workshop portion of the day. Each workshop was hosted by a member of the Home Office and a panel of selected store owners, and owners could choose from three different topics relevant to their business. After a quick snack break (we love those) we finished off our "day of learning" with some roundtable sessions. There were 14 roundtables set up, and each table had a moderator who facilitated discussion around a certain topic. Store owners got to pick three topics they felt would be most useful and had 20 minutes at each table. Needless to say, we were quite exhausted by the end of that day!

    Connect Learning Express store owners sit at tables during Welcome ReceptionOne of the very best parts about convention is the opportunity to connect with other members of the Learning Express Family. In fact, our group is often mistaken for a family reunion rather than a business gathering!

    Store owners first get to reunite with each other at our welcome reception—and at our Banquet & Awards Ceremony we invite all of the vendors who attend convention to join us as well. During dinner awards are given out to both vendors and store owners, and by the end of the evening you can find almost everyone tearing it up on the dance floor.

    Play Learning Express convention expo floorPerhaps the most important aspect of the convention is giving our store owners the chance to play. Each year we hold a two day vendor expo and invite over 120 vendors to attend. It’s exclusively for Learning Express franchisees, and it’s here that our owners write their orders for all of their holiday season merchandise. Vendors display and demo their products, and it’s a real opportunity for the store owners to play with the latest and greatest toys on the market. We also host a night called “PowerPLAY” which is a big hit every year. It’s like speed dating, but with toys. Pretty great, right? Each vendor sets up at a table and has 10 minutes to show off their toy, craft, or game to a captive group of LE owners. There were 25 vendor tables this year, and each store owner could “date” ten vendor tables total. I can say with certainty there were quite a few products our owners were in love with by the end of the evening!

    Stay tuned for next week’s blog—where we’ll tell you all about the incredible donation our vendors made the Monroe Carroll Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt!

    Talk to you again soon,

    Kathryn

  • Colorado Franchise Business Opportunity with Learning Express

    Educational Toy Franchise, Learning Express Toys, Announces Nationwide Growth

    Community Based Local Toy Store Chain is Expanding

    The national educational toy store franchise Learning Express Toys, winner of the 2012 Franchise Business Review Specialty Retail Category, is expanding at an average of one new toy store per month. Now, with more than 130 franchise stores located across the United States, Learning Express Toys seeks to expand into additional areas of Colorado.

    “Typically our new franchisees have no retail management or business ownership experience,” says Linda Moore, Learning Express Toys director of franchise development. “From the start we are there to make sure the grand opening of the Learning Express Toys location is an efficient and effective event. It is vital that the franchisees are comfortable with their new business.”

    At the corporate headquarters of Learning Express Toys, the team ensures that all franchisees benefit from a strong brand, group purchasing power, lease negotiation, store marketing and design, and business analytics.  It’s not all work, though. “Franchisees have dedicated their working life to play,” says Moore. And, each franchisee understands that the right toys profoundly impacts child development!

    To learn more about owning a Learning Express Toys franchise, visit learningexpress.com/franchises or contact Linda Moore directly at (800) 436-8697.

    About Learning Express Toys Learning Express Toys is the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores with more than 130 locations across the country, each one locally owned and operated. Learning Express Toys provides an extraordinary shopping experience with knowledgeable sales staff who offer expert advice on choosing the perfect toy, for every child, for every occasion. The Learning Express Toys  product mix is carefully selected from manufacturers around the world and each toy has exceptional play value. A birthday gift registry, free gift wrapping, free personalization, civic fundraising, and customer VIP programs make each Learning Express Toys store an integral part of its community.

  • Learning Express Re-Opens in Columbia, SC

    Greetings Learning Expressions Readers!

    We’re thrilled to announce the re-opening of our Columbia, SC store! Today we’d like to introduce Tom and Tory Brock, our new storeowners. The Brocks and their Columbia, SC Store owners Tom and Tory Brock and child  three children are, like many of our storeowners, longtime Learning Express customers. When Columbia’s first storeowner announced his retirement, Tory and Tom decided to purchase their beloved toy store and join the Learning Express community in a whole new way.

    No strangers to the world of business, the Brocks own and manage three construction firms and Tory is a retired Air Force Officer. They have lived in the Columbia area for seven years and have enjoyed dining and shopping in the Village at Sandhills.

    After announcing their decision to reopen Learning Express, the community feedback was overwhelming. Tom and Tory received excited emails and Facebook messages from customers who were thrilled to see their neighborhood toy store reopen its doors. The Brocks spent the spring hiring staff, unpacking boxes, and getting Learning Express of Columbia ready for its grand opening.

    An employee blows bubbles at the Columbia, SC StoreLearning Express Toys of Columbia re-opened their doors with a weekend full of fun this April. Customers enjoyed face painting, raffles, giveaways, and a special grand opening discount. The weekend also featured visits from a balloon artist and everyone’s favorite red monster, Elmo. In addition, 5% of the weekend’s proceeds were donated to Sistercare, Inc of Cayce, SC.

     

    “Our goal is to bring in new and exciting items for kids of all ages,” Tom and Tory told us. “We have hired Columbia Learning express register and back walland trained toy experts who can recommend toys for every child including those with special needs. The toy industry brings many exciting products to market every day, and we can’t wait to introduce them to our customers.”

    For more information about the Columbia store and pictures from the grand re-opening, you can visit their Facebook page. Please join us in welcoming Tory, Tom, and the kids into the Learning Express family.

    Thanks for reading!

    Kathryn