TALK SHOP: Titcomb's Bookshop


In this edition of Talk Shop, we talked with Ellen Speers, Toy Buyer for specialty toy store, Titcomb’s Bookshop. Check out a sneak peak of the feature below! 

SPECIALTY TOY STORE: Titcomb’s Bookshop

LOCATION: East Sandwich, MA

OWNER(S): Ralph and Nancy Titcomb

Origin Story

Titcomb's Bookshop has been in business since 1967 when Ralph and Nancy Titcomb began selling rare and antique books by mail from their home in Connecticut. When Ralph, an engineer, was transferred to Massachusetts in 1969, they opened the bookshop in a carport attached to the 1690s home where they raised their 8 children.

From 1985 to 1986 their sons, Ted and Paul, built the current building. Their daughter, Vicky, joined the business in 1991 and expanded the selection of new books. When the only local specialty toy store closed in 2002, they decided to expand their toy section. Every year the toy section of Titcomb's Bookshop has grown in volume and sales.

Speers joined the Titcomb’s Bookshop team as a toy buyer in January of 2016, and the toy department has grown significantly.

Decisions, Decisions…

“Before making decisions about inventory we weigh out many factors,” says Speers. Questions to ask yourself as a toy buyer include: How much space and storage do we need? How fast do we think this will sell (very important for seasonal items)? Does this product represent our values and goals? “We strive to carry unique, educational, quality items. Sometimes we know a product will sell slowly, but it really represents what we want in our shop. Price can be a factor as well - we want quality items but not necessarily expensive items. A large number of the toys we sell are intended as birthday party gifts, and therefore we really think about how much our customers want to spend.”

Check out the September issue of Creative Play Retailer Magazine for more specialty toy store insights from Ellen Speers and Titcomb’s Bookshop manager, Vicky Titcomb! 

Visit or connect with them on Facebook!

Posted on 2016-08-09 by Winita Frederick

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