November 2005 | Vol. IV - No. 11
|Did you ever see someone wandering through the fine china department shouting into a cell phone, "Do they have the gravy boat? ... What about the salt and pepper shakers?|
It would put an end to this familiar scene: You’re in the BRIO (ToyShow) railroad department of a toy store before a gift-giving holiday. Frantically, a customer just a few feet from you moves from product to product, grilling an unseen partner via cell phone: “Does he have the Wooden Milk Wagon? ... It’s a car that says ‘Milk’ across it! ... Okay, what about the car with the zebra in it? ...Wait, does he have any tunnels?”
As it stands, this scene is common in every department that boasts a multitude of toys in one “family” — Barbie ( Watch Video) dolls, LEGO ( Watch Video) sets, Matchbox cars. Every year mothers like me promise relatives across the nation that we will make a list of every doll, railroad car or book in our child’s collection. Yet, before we know it, the holidays are upon us and our child’s toys remain unaccounted for.
Ultimately, we end up taking inventory of our child’s toy box as we listen to a harried shopper on the other end of the line. This leads to another empty promise of a list for next year. There must be a better way to avoid buying duplicates.
Wedding parties have the right idea. After all, did you ever see someone wandering through the fine china department shouting into a cell phone, “Do they have the gravy boat? ... What about the salt and pepper shakers? ... How about the pickle dish?” No? That’s because that matronly looking woman sitting behind a small desk hands each shopper a list of everything an engaged couple wants. It’s wonderful. Even my shopping-challenged husband can buy gifts off of the wedding registry.
What we need is a kid registry. I’m not suggesting we set kids loose with one of those little registry guns. Imagine the chaos. Also, most kids have neither the height nor the patience to go through an entire toy store. Instead, toy stores should allow parents to set up their child’s wish list. Since children seem to gravitate toward collecting, parents can register their child’s latest obsession with a few educational toys thrown in for good measure.As it turns out, there are a wide variety of options when establishing a gift registry for your store. Online stores can use services such as wishlist.com linked to their Web site while companies such as Marcole Interactive System and Kiosk Information System, Inc. can supply all the computer software and tools needed for an in-store gift registry. These systems can range from several of hundreds to several of thousands of dollars.
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