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Shop Local

Patricia Fiedler

Child's Play

Portland, OR


Tim Holliday

Children's World & Uniform Supply

Sarasota, FL


Susan Blanton


Staunton, VA


Gwen Ottenberg

Imagine That Toys

Wichita, KS


Claudia Towles

aMuse Toys

Baltimore, MD


Ann Kienzle


Chicago, IL


Thea Brown

World of Mirth

Richmond, VA

by The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association   |   November 3
When you buy from locally-owned businesses like toy stores that are members of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA), more of your dollar stays in your community.

  • Dollars spent at locally-owned stores create a multiplier effect in the local economy.   For each dollar you spend at independent businesses in your community, three or more times as much typically goes back into the local economy compared to a dollar spent at retailer owned by a chain.

  • More sales tax revenue is generated for your local jurisdiction if you shop locally rather than leaving your town or county for malls and big box stores. 

Ten reasons to shop locally:

The following is reprinted with permission from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national nonprofit organization working to rebuild local economies. To learn more, visit

  1. Local character and prosperity
    Your community’s local character and prosperity thrive when you support its unique and diverse locally owned businesses.

  2. Community well-being
    Local businesses foster community well-being by building strong neighborhoods, sustaining communities, and contributing more to local causes.

  3. Local decision-making
    Local ownership means local decision making by people who live in the community and share in the effect of those decisions.

  4. Local economic benefits
    Keeping your money in your local economy supports local jobs, funds more local services through sales tax, and invests in neighborhood improvement and development.

  5. Local jobs and wages
    Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some cases, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

  6. Entrepreneurship
    Local entrepreneurship fosters economic innovation and prosperity.

  7. Public services costs
    Local stores in town centers make more efficient use of public services and community infrastructure than big box chain stores.

  8. Environmental impact
    Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

  9. Healthy competition
    A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses across our country fosters healthy competition and ensures innovation and low prices over the long term.

  10. More choices for you
    An abundance of small locally owned businesses, each selecting its own product mix, guarantees a much wider range of product choices for everyone in the community.

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Toy Store Day
Toy stores across the country will be celebrating the joy of play during Neighborhood Toy Store Day on November 14, 2015. To launch the holiday shopping season with community-minded fun, ASTRA retailers throughout the nation will host special events at their stores.

The celebration of community, the shop local message, and the joy of play brings neighbors together at their neighborhood toy store. Last year's programs included crafts, entertainers, scavenger hunts, and charitable donations. Through Neighborhood Toy Store Day, customers see that specialty toy retailers are more than just stores— they are a central part of a vital community.

Local stores have knowledgeable staff, offer special services like gift-wrapping, help preserve a vital downtown, and reinvest their profits in your community. Search the Calendar of Events to find a participating retailer near you or use the Store Locator to search for a neighborhood toy store near you and give them a call to find out what they have planned for the big day!

Online Media Kit

The Woohoo! Factor, powered by ASTRA, works closely with bloggers and media outlets to announce play and toy industry information. Visit our online media kit to learn more about The Woohoo! Factor and to download related materials.

Toy Buying Guide

Looking for the right toy for that special child in your life? Looking for a toy for a specific age group? We've created a guide grounded in child development research to help.