Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Five-day forecast

For people who complain they don’t make toys like they used to a trip to Gravesend could change their mind.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

From dolls houses to jigsaws, Nuxley Toys stocks them all and after four decades in the business it is still going strong.

Jean Ray, founded Nuxley in 1976 and although shops in Belvedere, Bexleyheath and Welling closed, the shop in Milton Road continues to do good business.

She runs the family business with her husband David and her son Michael. The Ray family employ just one member of staff from outside to keep the business ticking over.

The 72-year-old said: “We’ve been successful because we’re a family run store.

“We don’t pass the buck, we don’t belong to any syndicates and we don’t have a press office. If something goes wrong we’re to blame and we try and give the best customer service possible!

“This makes customers come back. You’d be amazed at the number of young men who come in and comment on the smell of the shop and how soothing it is.”

The shop got its name from Nuxley Road in Belvedere, where the first store was built almost four decades ago.

Mrs Ray, who lives in Crockenhill, Swanley, thinks the rise in demand for electronic games has helped the demise of the traditional toys which Nuxley stocks.

She commented: “We’ve always offered cut price traditional toys and I think there will always be a place for them in the market.

“Over the years our bestsellers have included Star Wars, Barbies, dolls houses and a variety of fancy dress outfits.

“But the real big ones at the moment are jigsaws, and not just for children. Adult jigsaws have become very big business and they currently make up about one sixth of the shop.”

Although resisting the urge to modernise against strong corporations in the market such as Argos and Toys R Us, they have an eBay online shop where they sell jigsaws, dolls houses and other items.

It was with great disappointment that the Welling shop closed in March, both for Mrs Ray and her customers. She has commented how much she enjoyed the Bellegrove site, but parking and delivery problems meant the store had to bow to the inevitable.

This made four staff redundant, one of whom had been working in the shop for more than 30 years.

But Mrs Ray is not worried about the same situation arising in Gravesend. “The problem with the Bexley stores were rising rent and parking problems, which made it hard to receive deliveries and even harder for customers to park. We had to be there by 6am to receive deliveries, which became increasingly hard to do as I reached my seventies!

“Gravesend will continue going strong. We’ve got a great client base and we over something most toy stores don’t.”

Do you know a business which you would like to see in this feature? Email feedback@thereporter.co.uk

0 comments

Local Search 24
Looking for a:
Location:
Search radius:
Click here to read the Digital Edition of the The Reporter on screen

Around the Web See all

Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Gravesend businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the The Reporter, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE