| 9.4°C Dublin

Toy fever Banba Toymaster shop is 'manic' as panic buying begins

I feel like the captain of a submarine who has just discovered there are holes inside,” manager Maurice Doyle told the Sunday World.

Close

Maurice Doyle, General Manager Banba Toymaster on Mary St. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Maurice Doyle, General Manager Banba Toymaster on Mary St. Photo: Doug O'Connor

Maurice Doyle, General Manager Banba Toymaster on Mary St. Photo: Doug O'Connor

The manager of a top Dublin toy shop has said he feels like the captain of a submarine that has sprung a leak, due to frazzled customers. 

Hordes of panicked parents descended on Banba Toymaster on Mary Street today, in a last-ditch effort to bag all their Christmas presents.

At midnight on Wednesday shops like Banba will be forced to shut their doors for a six-week period under the Government’s new restrictions.

And shop staff today were pushed to the limit as they attempted to help out desperate parents, eager to avoid any disappointment on Christmas morning.

“I feel like the captain of a submarine who has just discovered there are holes inside,” manager Maurice Doyle told the Sunday World.

“It is panic stations to be honest.

“We don’t have a website; we have a Facebook page.

“We have started work on opening an online shop, but it is just not ready yet.

“So, we will have to close our doors on Wednesday and just hope that we will be able to operate as a click and collect service.

“Today has been manic and I have just seen a lot of people coming into the shop panic buying.”

Maurice said that he remains hopeful that the Government will make an allowance for toy shops and allow them to operate a click and collect service.

But he also reassured cash strapped families that they would continue to operate a Christmas club over the phone, where they can secure their gifts with a 20pc deposit.

“What separates us from Smyths in one big way is our Christmas club,” he said.

“We allow people to pick any item they want in the shop, pay a 20pc deposit.

“That allows us to put that away for them to pay off over the coming weeks and then pick it up before Christmas.

“We are going to continue to do that during lockdown.

“We have three staff members who live within the km zone who are coming in to man the phones and we will be able to do that for them.

“We are waiting to hear from retail excellence Ireland whether we can do a full click and collect service.

“But as of today, it’s a no.”

All morning and into the afternoon large queues had formed outside the shop, but Maurice was quick to reassure people that stocks of popular toys are in good supply.

Everything except for the Jay Jay musical Cocomelon toy, which was impossible to get before lockdown was announced.

“Stock wise, I am not too concerned,” Maurice added.

“We have been in touch with suppliers and they are confident that they will be able to keep the toys coming in.

“The only thing I would be worried about is the Jay Jay Toy from Cocomelon. We ordered 72 of them a few weeks ago but they have not arrived.

“We have loads of Lego and Nerf guns so we will have a good supply of toys for Christmas.

“Look we are going to try and make sure we have the phones manned with credit card machines and the Christmas club will keep going.

“It is just the people without credit cards or those who just don't have the money to buy all their presents this time of year. I feel so sorry for those people.”

Online Editors


Privacy