The businessman who took over the borough’s only independent toy store insists he is not bothered by competition from online retailers and big shopping centres.

Amit Parekh, 44, bought out Toyology in High Street, Barkingside, in March, and is now running the shop as Moons Toy Store.

Toyology boss Gary Diamond sold the shop because he said it could no longer compete with Westfield.

But Mr Parekh said: "This is my third toy shop. We have two more in Suffolk and I can tell you they are both doing very well.

"Personally I see competing with the likes of Westfield and Amazon as a challenge. They don’t bother me. I am sure we can hold our own."

Mr Parekh has got rid of the back office at the shop, increasing retail space by 40 per cent.
He is also making changes to the shop’s stock, introducing new lines including a ‘pocket money range’ of toys.

He said: "The pocket money range is all about selling items for between 25p and £4.

"It works very well in our other shops and really encourages people to come in."

Mr Parekh says that if parents find toys cheaper in other local shops including Argos, Toys R Us or any Westfield store, he will match them.

He said: "We want people to support their high street, but we understand you have to give them some incentive.

"One thing you will always get with us is superb customer service.

"I am nuts about radio controlled cars and I love NERF guns and am always playing with them with my daughter and her friends.

"All the staff are passionate about toys and that comes across when you visit."

Mr Parekh says he has doubled takings since taking over the shop but still hopes to attract more new customers.

He will hold an official launch party later this month with visits from magicians, giveaways and a special appearance by Iggle Piggle from TV’s In the Night Garden.

The party runs from 10am to 4pm on June 15.