Marbles, The Brain Store recently sent out and posted a video promoting one of their inventors, Peggy Brown, which is part of their innovative and very successful approach to retailing toys and games. The video is joy to watch (I admit I am biased as Peggy is a friend and she mentions the TAGIEs, but I think you will agree) – Marbles Peggy Brown Interview.
Promoting inventors aside, Marbles is a phenomenon in our industry. They opened its first store in October 2008 and has since opened five more stores in the Chicago area, three in Minnesota, and 9 more on the east coast (Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland). We filmed a commercial in their downtown Chicago store last fall on a weekday morning and it was busy… very busy. What is their secret? I caught up with Lindsay Gaskins, Marbles CEO, to find out what makes them roll.
Lindsay: “We have had a crazy year with more than doubling in store size and introducing 20 new Marbles branded products to our product line. Luckily we have a great, adaptable team and partners that are helping us grow rapidly and handle all the bumps in the road.
I think we have gotten to where we are today because we are willing to take the risk and our customers positive reaction is driving us to grow and get our brand out there. There isn’t a day when I am in the stores where I don’t hear “I love this store”. Not only do I think Marbles, a store that caters to our actual brain and really delivers on experience, is a good idea in general but I feel confident that we have an innovative team that can keep delighting our customers with new, fun, challenging products and experiences.
I think one of our secrets is about offering a new retail experience: beautiful, clean merchandising and great customer service (our store employees are called “Brain Coaches). In addition, our challenging, highly selective product selection make it all work.
This year, we were lucky enough to team up with Peggy Brown and produce a couple of trivia games, Mindstein and Mind Your Marbles, that just hit our shelves and we are very excited about their early success (see video to find out more). Our product development team, led by our Chief Merchant Scott Brown and Director or Product Development Josh Fritz is constantly looking for new innovative brain challenging products and we have some great ones launching in Summer 2012 (working with Peggy Brown on a few of them).
So look out- here we come!”