Toy shop goes on sale

Written by Pete Davison on .

One of Marlborough's best loved businesses is up for sale, giving someone the opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream of owning a toy shop.

The town's only toy shop, Ducklings, has been put on the market after its owner was struck down with a serious illness.

Retailer Chris Birkett and his family have been living in Bristol, where he has been receiving regular hospital treatment, since last year.

The effects of the treatment and the distance from Marlborough have made it difficult to run an otherwise viable business, Chris told Marlborough News Online today.

He said: “Ducklings will be two years old in July, which I think is pretty good considering the very tough economic climate, bridge closure and all the other things that have affected both the town and my family and I.

“However, we've come to the decision to sell the business as a going concern. It has been a very difficult decision, but I think it's the right one for our long term future.

“I'd like to try and appeal to someone locally who – like me – had followed a very different career path and had not considered going into retail until the right opportunity arose.

“People are being made redundant at the moment, and are receiving pay-offs that they might want to invest into a delightful local business, which has been a real pleasure to run.”

The popular toy shop stocks a variety of well-known brands including Playmobil, Airfix, Sylvanian Families, Orchard Toys games and puzzles, Warhammer kits and paints and pocket money toys.

It opened in July 2009, following the closure of Ducks toy shop in Marlborough High Street. The owner of Ducks, Tony Gray, who closed his due to retirement at the age of 70, gave his blessing for the new business to be named Ducklings.

In its opening year, Chris – who was a data analyst before setting up shop in Hiller's Yard – was a finalist in the inaugural Marlborough New Business of the Year competition, run by Marlborough Chamber of Commerce.

He went on to chair the chamber's Retail Forum, and was a vociferous champion of shops in the town.

The business is for sale for £20,000. Investors would need around £10,000 to buy the existing stock, and the deposit for the leasehold is £6,250 plus fixtures and fittings.

It is on the market with Dalston's Commercial. For further details log on to 

Chris Birkett can be contacted on 07823 441614