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Articles by Terri Hughes-Lazzell

Retailing Tips: Keep Customers’ Spirits Light (12/1/2013)
Equally as important as the months-ahead preparation for the holiday season is the ability to maintain a positive store spirit throughout the month of December

Retailing Tips: Handling Rowdy Kids (4/1/2012)
Excited children are an everyday component of operating a specialty toy store, but occasionally a child goes out of control — becoming dangerous to a business and its profit margin

Just Jump It Offers Perfect Twist of Fun and Safety (6/1/2009)
In 1992, 17 years after the founding of Cressline Rope Works, a sales rep for the bulk-rope purveyor suggested to Owner Darrel Cresswell that the company create a jump rope. Darrel and his partner at the time, Don Meeker, jumped at the opportunity to give it a try.

Mashoonga! Creates New Sport for Teens and Tweens (5/1/2009)
Advertising executive Jim Bogner was at a crossroads in his career in the fall of 2006 when he noticed his 13-year-old son, Luke, and friends playing the same “sword game” daily.

MagnaPlay Cases Hit Market in Just Months (2/1/2009)
MagnaPlay, a magnet toy company, grew from a project that scientist Maya Gowri was working on with her 10-year-old son, who had to develop a board game for a class project, she told TDmonthly Magazine.

Retailing Tips: Keep Customers’ Spirits Light (12/1/2008)
Equally as important as the months-ahead preparation for the holiday season is the ability to maintain a positive store spirit throughout the month of December

Retailing Tips: Networking for Holiday Success (11/1/2008)
Working with other retailers, taking advantage of traffic during special area-wide holiday events, and embracing creative ideas may attract new customers for the holidays.

Controlling Holiday Chaos (11/1/2008)
In the December issue of TDmonthly Magazine, find out what specialty toy-store owners said has been their biggest obstacle ever to a successful holiday season

Attracting New Customers (10/1/2008)
You know your primary customer base, but what about those who don't frequent — or even know about — your store already?

Retailing Tips: Hosting Happenin’ Holiday Events (10/1/2008)
Holiday shoppers are intent on finding the right gift for the special people in their lives, and sometimes, hosting a special event can encourage them toward that perfect gift … right in your own store

Retailing Tips: Hiring for the Holidays (9/1/2008)
Many of the 68 specialty retailers who spoke with TDmonthly Magazine said their part-time employees just work more hours to cover the busy holiday season...

Retailing Tips: Secrets of Discriminating Sales (8/1/2008)
Approximately two-thirds of the 64 specialty storeowners interviewed told TDmonthly Magazine they hold at least one sale a year to increase traffic and sell off unpopular items.

Hiring for the Holidays (8/1/2008)
In TDmonthly Magazine’s September issue, find out what other specialty storeowners have to say about bringing in new employees

Sales That Sell (7/1/2008)
Is it a good idea to hold sales in your specialty store? Find out what other retailers say about the when, why and how of marking down items...

Retailing Tips: Ordering By Customer Request (7/1/2008)
Most specialty toy-store owners told TDmonthly Magazine they get requests for items they don’t carry quite often, even daily — but they don’t bring all the toys in.

What Toys to Stock (6/1/2008)
Not quite sure which products will do well in your store for ‘08?

Retailing Tips: How to Be a Famous Store (6/1/2008)
Think you’ve tried every marketing technique around? What about using your own customers as photo models?

Marketing Your Store (5/1/2008)
Retailers: How might you compel customers to step into your store time and time again?

Retailing Tips: Finding New Toys (5/1/2008)
Staying up-to-date with current trends, finding innovative manufacturers who’ve just hit the market, and looking for the toys your customers request are necessary parts of business, but retailers often feel they don’t have time.

Retailing Tips: Handling Rowdy Kids (4/1/2008)
Excited children are an everyday component of operating a specialty toy store, but occasionally a child goes out of control — becoming dangerous to a business and its profit margin.

Finding New Toys (4/1/2008)
Trade shows, catalogs, the Internet, sales reps, retailer networks … there are a lot of ways to find new products!

Retailing Tips: Dealing with Insurance (3/1/2008)
Deciding on insurance to ensure your business doesn’t go down the tube after theft or fire — or even an accident that results in a lawsuit — isn’t a job for the faint of heart.

Retailing Tips: Is “Hot” Too Hot for You? (1/1/2008)
Specialty toy stores aren’t the traditional place to find the “hot” toys seen in TV commercials and plastered throughout holiday advertisements, but every once in awhile, a toy will steam up in even the most sedate mom-and-pop store (anyone heard of Webkinz?)

Retailing Tips: Create a Profitable Mix (12/1/2007)
Mixing toys with other merchandise is a method used by several specialty toy-store owners to help increase traffic, customer base and sales, they told TDmonthly Magazine.

Retailing Tips: Turn Mass-Market Fiends Into Specialty Lovers (11/1/2007)
Kids might be crazy for the licensed products they see on TV cartoons, but they’re not likely the same toys found in your specialty toy store

Toy Buzz: Giving Back Pays Off for Karito Kids (11/1/2007)
When Lisa Steen Proctor and Laura Rangel began planning their company, KidsGive LLC, in 2005, they knew they wanted to accomplish more than giving a toy. They also wanted to help kids celebrate diversity and learn to give to others, Laura, the company’s president, told TDmonthly Magazine.

Retailing Tips: How to Minimize Theft (10/1/2007)
Dealing with theft is a reality of retail. Although most specialty toy-store owners say theft is minimal, any theft is still a loss

Show Them the Way (10/1/2007)
What do you do when a mass-market customer walks into your specialty toy store

Retailing Tips: Prepping for the Holidays (9/1/2007)
Preparing for the holidays requires a lot of work, so start early! Whether it’s hiring additional staff, ordering or organizing holiday events

Retailing Tips: Brand Your Store (8/1/2007)
Branding, whether it’s burning a ranch symbol into the hides of cattle or slapping a designer’s name on a pair of jeans, is nothing new

Making the Most of the Holidays (8/1/2007)
How do toy-store owners get ready for their biggest selling season?

Retailing Tips: Promoting Online (7/1/2007)
Even if you don’t plan to sell toys online, having a website to market your store could boost your business

Retailing Tips: Selling Online (7/1/2007)
Selling online isn’t as simple as creating a website on your home PC and waiting for sales to roll in

Retailing Tips: Order Strategically (6/1/2007)
Ordering toys for your store is not an exact science

Retailing Tips: Plan Now for Christmas (5/1/2007)
Being ready for Christmas shoppers means planning months in advance and ordering when you're still busy with beach-toy sales

Retailing Tips: Ordering for Christmas (4/1/2007)
While everyone else gets ready for summer, specialty toy-store owners are placing their big Christmas orders. But are you too late?

Wild Republic Gives Back (3/1/2007)
A love of nature and children gave Wild Republic its beginning after founder G.B. Pillai noticed that gift stores at zoos, aquariums and museums could do better at offering merchandise that reflected the visitor experience

Aircraft Models Corp. Invades Toy Biz (12/1/2006)
Aircraft Models Corp. didn't intend to be in the toy business.

Retailing Tips: Branding a Cash Cow (11/1/2006)
If you think personalization is a drag, you might be missing a cash cow.

Personalized Piggy Banks Cash In (11/1/2006)
People like buying kids stuff with their names on it, and kids like seeing their names on stuff

To Drool For: Wee Gallery's Baby Art (10/1/2006)
Teacher Dave Pinto and graphic artist Surya Sajnani created Wee Gallery, but their first production — a son born in 2002 — was the inspiration behind the company.

Toys Meet Toilet Training (9/1/2006)
Making the transition from diapers to toilets isn’t easy for many children, but Joe Lalicata, CEO of Jeckida Inc. of Staten Island, N.Y., maker of Toilet Buddies, has turned the toilet into a toy.

Turning Toilets Into Toys (8/1/2006)
Ten days on a toilet with a bout of food poisoning transformed Joe Lalicata's life.

Picking Popular Licenses Proves a Guessing Game (6/1/2006)
How do manufacturers and retailers predict hit licenses?

Foreign Is Fresh for Kids' Licenses (6/1/2006)
Whether it’s the lure of something new and different or what’s popular on television at the moment, foreign licensed products are hot commodities in the toy industry.

Water on the Runway (4/1/2006)
The most difficult hurdle water toy (i.e., beach, pool and snow) producers face is the short selling season.

Sudoku Popularity Not So Puzzling (3/1/2006)
The popularity of the one-digit Sudoku electronic puzzles, developed from the forerunning puzzles that appear in newspapers, is just beginning to grow in the United States.

Rhapsody Records Teaches Baby Night and Day (2/1/2006)
Dr. Gwendolyn McGraw stumbled across research showing that parents bought lullaby CDs for their children that they never used.

Magic Set Comparison: The Kids Decide (12/1/2005)
TDmonthly Magazine handed six kits over to an 11-year-old, Maggie, and a 15-year-old, Nick, to see if they liked them, or wanted to "make them disappear."

Are Educational Toys Educational? (11/1/2005)
Just how effective are educational toys? Some argue that children learn more during pretend-play time than with structured educational products.

Wooden Toys in the Modern Age (8/1/2005)
While they may look like the same wooden blocks or trucks of 50 years ago, some of today’s wooden toys are going high tech. Several companies are using technology to improve safety measures or to create more unusual products.

Clic-ing It Together (7/1/2005)
When CLICSTOYS USA, LLC, based in Grapevine, Texas, opened for business in December 2003, the company started with building toys available from its Belgian counterpart.

Adults Are Ready to Build (7/1/2005)
Called toys that make you think, construction or building toy sets are more than the wooden blocks of yesterday — and they’re not just for kids.

Holiday Season Forecast (6/1/2005)
The 2004 holiday season is a tough act to follow for retailers, and the National Retail Federation is predicting that this year’s holiday shopping season will not exceed last year’s.

Small Companies Enter Licensing Arena (5/1/2005)
Though licensed products have been hot for at least 20 years, gone are the days when only the oldest and largest toy companies had a shot at top titles. Today, fledgling companies are crafting toys that feature characters from hit shows like "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Age Compression Challenges Action Figure Sales (5/1/2005)
Age compression, the idea that kids are getting older younger, is a term used often among toy manufacturers, retailers and other industry insiders.

A Sensible Dream: elogIQ (5/1/2005)
Dror Rom began designing his own puzzles long before he could afford to bring his ideas to fruition. Twenty years later, he is realizing his dream.

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