A new Montreal-based online toy store promises to make shopping easier — and less expensive. Launched in September, Ivy’s Locker sells board games, action figures, LEGO sets, and other toys less expensively than stores like Walmart or Amazon.
Founder Andrew Holness, who named his new venture after his daughter, says he is able to keep his prices low and still generate a profit by buying products in bulk. For example, let’s say a manufacturer’s suggested retail price on an item is $24.99. Because Holness will buy at least 12 of the item, he gets a reduced price of $15.99 each. He sets his resale price at $19.99, so he makes about $4 per item but sells the products for $5 less than the suggested retail price.
“Basically, my whole mission is to make toys available to everybody for less money,” Holness says. “Why should toys cost so much money?”
Holness says he does extensive research at stores like Amazon, Walmart and Toys ‘R Us to see what is popular with kids, then he finds the manufacturer and sells them at a lower price. If he can’t find the same toy, he will get something similar. He also has some little helpers who give him a hand in choosing toys.
“My niece and nephew help a lot because they’re 10 and 6 years old, so they know a lot more about what is popular than I do,” Holness says.
Ivy’s Locker also offers a Childcare Education Catalogue exclusively for schools, daycares, playgroups and parent groups. It allows them to buy books, playsets and other educational tools singly or in bulk at a discounted price. To receive access to the catalogue, educators must visit Ivy’s Locker’s website and request it through the site’s ‘Contact Us’ page. Holness will email the catalogue and educators can make their selections.
But no matter how big the company gets, Holness says he hopes that one day his daughter, Aliya Ivy, will take over the business.
“(Starting a company) shows her that anyone can make something of themselves,” Holness says. “I didn’t study business in school nor do I have a business background. I’ve managed to figure everything out and create a profitable company in the early stages and it continues to grow.”
Ivy’s Locker offers a pick up-service for Montrealers so they can save on shipping costs. There is also a 14-day return policy.
For more information, visit ivyslocker.com.