Jigsaws and kites: Business is good for Okanagan toy stores | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Jigsaws and kites: Business is good for Okanagan toy stores

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
March 21, 2020 - 2:00 PM

As the coronavirus causes many companies a dramatic downturn, those in the business of keeping kids entertained appear to be bucking the trend.

Vernon Teach and Learn store co-owner Lynella Henke said with kids scheduled to be off school for so long, parents are looking at ways to keep them entertained.

Henke put together several "keep them busy" craft kits and advertised them online for pickup. So far they're selling well. With online orders and people picking up from the back door, Henke said numbers are even up slightly from a normal spring break year.

"People are thankful we are open," she said.

For those who do come into the store, Henke put a hand washing sink with soap and hot water at the front entrance and requires everyone who comes through the front door to wash their hands.

Down the road at Vernon's Teeter Totter Toys owner Lynne Taylor tells a similar story.

"We're fairing just fine," she said.

Taylor said the store removed all the toys from the kid's play area and in an effort for children to touch as little as possible, each child is given a small toy, which they get to home with them.

Penticton's Sirius Science and Nature report much the same thing.

Store manager Jesse Doucette said the store is seeing far fewer families come through the door, but instead one parent will come in and shop alone.

Jigsaw puzzles are the store's top-selling item, followed by kites.

"Despite social isolation and quarantine you can still go to the park and stand 30 feet away from each other," Doucette said.

Doucette said while it's not a typical spring break week — he's wearing gloves and disinfecting everything regularly — "considering all things" financially he believes it's probably about the same.

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