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Bedford Marketplace in Bedford, MA is the very first combined Learning Express Toys and Learning Express Play concept. Construction is complete and we’re busy setting up fixtures and checking in stock. We will begin to merchandise next week.
A children’s activity center and play museum for children ages 6 months through age 8, Learning Express Play will host classes, birthday parties and open play. Classes will span movement and dance, art, music, science and other themes. The play space, named Downtown Play, will feature more than 16 themed play areas inspired by New England townscapes and nationally-recognized children's museums, including a general store, design and build center, veterinary clinic, performing arts center, pretend restaurant, infant play area, 1000 sq. ft. gymnasium with a rock-climbing wall, and much, much more.
Our Grand Opening is scheduled for September 23-25. We’ll have guest appearances from Elmo, Peppa the Pig, Elsa & Anna, Marshall from Paw Patrol, Cinderella and many more. Contests, raffles, and doorbusters will be happening throughout the weekend.
Learning Express Toys values being “your local neighborhood toy store.” Part of that means being a good neighbor by helping organizations in our local communities.
It all started in 1987. Learning Express, Inc. was originally founded as a way to raise funds for a school in Groton, Massachusetts. That value of generosity has remained a key part of our franchise system as we’ve grown to over 120 locations nationwide. Each store owner partners with local schools, foundations, charities, and parent-teacher organizations to help local kids and families.
As a recent example, Learning Express Toys of Lake Zurich, Illinois hosted a shopping spree for a local family in need in partnership with the Dave Farbaky Foundation and Aloha Construction. Four sisters had 90 seconds to run around the store with large bag each and grab as many toys as they wanted. The foundation’s purpose is to foster “random acts of kindness” for families in need.
Store owner Rick Derr was moved by the experience of helping the family.
"At the end, after the four girls shopped, I said, 'I want to thank you for shopping here and providing us a glimpse of giving,'" Rick told the Chicago Tribune. "One of them, about 7 years old, said, 'No, I want to thank you.' And they all looked you in the eye. I felt they were literally good kids. I thanked their mother, too. They were humble."
Each of our store owners has a story similar to Rick’s about helping local families and making children smile. We strive to be good community members – by partnering with other local businesses, serving local families and helping local organizations. This commitment sets Learning Express Toys apart as a true neighborhood toy store: a value that keeps our customers loyal and our store owners involved and dedicated.
To learn how store ownership can help organizations in your local community, please visit our franchise page.
My name is Danny, but since working at Learning Express Toys, I have acquired a new nickname by which many customers know me: I am Demo Dan. When I first started working at Learning Express Toys, my only job was to demonstrate some of our products to the customers, and I seemed to have a knack for it. My boss quickly gave me the nickname and I accepted it proudly. This may seem like only a title, but it has become so much more. As Demo Dan, I have a responsibility to provide fun and entertainment to not only the children that enter the store, but to the adults as well. Continue reading
A key differentiator at Learning Express Toys is the ability to demonstrate products. Playing with the toys in-store not only provides enjoyment, but also gives the customer a true understanding of the toy’s value.
The Top Toys program was implemented to recognize those items that are easily demonstrated. For each of the five catalogs Learning Express Toys produces annually, Top Toys are selected by our store owners and our buyers. “We believe in the importance of having an opportunity to experience a toy before buying it,” says Rob Kracinovich, Senior Buyer. “For example, it’s difficult to understand how some games are played without taking them out of the package and trying them!” Continue reading
Learning Express Toys, the nation’s leading franchisor of specialty toy stores, announces a yearlong partnership with Autism Speaks. As a proud supporter of Autism Speaks’ mission, Learning Express Toys, with more than 120 locations across the country, will offer various ways for shoppers to donate to this life-changing organization.
During the month of April—Autism Awareness month—in exchange for a $2 or more donation, shoppers will be asked to add their names to Puzzle Piece cards to show their commitment to Autism Speaks. Throughout the year, LE Toys also will be holding sensory shopping fundraisers and Play Day Fundraisers to benefit the nonprofit dedicated to supporting people with Autism. Continue reading