Cautious optimism from the Toy Man

Paul Harrington Owner Spotlight, Retail, Toy Industry

Toy World Magazine October 2023 – After 20 years working at A.C. Nielsen/D&B Research Company, Rick Derr opened the first Learning Express Toys franchise in the Chicago area in 1996, and then became a sub-franchiser, opening nine more stores. Although leaving the corporate environment behind, he has combined his expertise in data and numbers with a passion for the toy …

Holiday Predictions from Learning Express Toys & Gifts’ Rick ‘The Toy Man’ Derr

Paul Harrington Retail, Toy Industry

THE TOY BOOK – The holiday season is officially underway for the toy industry, and following the debut of The Toy Insider’s 18th annual Holiday Gift Guide, retailer predictions and hot toy lists are rolling out. While many hot lists skew toward toys and games that are primarily sold at mass retail, the specialty market is more nuanced. Independent toy …

Talking Retail with Learning Express Toys & Gifts’ CEO Lauren Derse on the ‘Power Kid Podcast’

Paul Harrington Franchising, Owner Spotlight, Retail, Toy Industry

THE TOY BOOK – In this week’s episode of the “Power Kid Podcast,” host Phil Albritton of Power Kid Design welcomes Lauren Derse, CEO of Learning Express Toys & Gifts to the show. Derse leads the largest franchised toy store chain in the U.S. and has vast experience with store ownership and oversight. Learning Express is known for its expert …

Toy store owner shares after-school activity recommendations

Paul Harrington Local Franchise News Article, Marketing Programs, Retail

KBTX CBS 3 – Now that the kids are back in school, you may be thinking of some after school activities for them that blend learning and fun. The owner of Learning Express Toys of College Station, Bridget Mais, joined BVTM Monday to share some recommendations. Full Article and Video:

Learning Express Toys & Gifts Names Lauren Derse CEO

Paul Harrington Convention, Franchise Expos, Franchise News, Retail, Toy Industry

The Toy Book – Learning Express founder Sharon DiMinico marked the 35th anniversary of the company — the leading franchisor of specialty toy stores in the U.S. — by passing the torch to her daughter, Lauren Derse, who takes on the role of CEO. “Lauren brings with her a Harvard Business School degree but more importantly, she has had in-store …