The start of a toy revolution
In 1987 Sharon DiMinico, CEO & Founder and parent of two at Groton Community School proposed a business plan for the school to open a specialty toy store in order to supplement tuition. After giving it a thought, the school opened its first Learning Express store in Acton, Massachusetts, and, six months later, Sharon opened the first store owned by Learning Express, Inc. in Needham, Massachusetts. Since then, Learning Express has grown into a wide network of 92 stores across the US and has been successfully adding joy to learning for the last 33 years. “We are a ‘family’ of individually owned and operated specialty toy stores,” says Sharon.
On a mission to making life more playful, one toy at a time, Learning Express understands the profound effects healthy and constructive play can have on the development of a child. As these subtle developments in the early stages of life determine the course of a child’s life, Learning Express takes child’s play very seriously. Learning Express acknowledges every child is special and unique in its own way. With different requirements, every child needs a different level of knowledge, understanding, and guidance. With educational toys for age groups ranging from an infant to 12 years plus, Learning Express offers a wide range of products. Having collaborated with brands like Melissa and Doug, Toysmith, Lego, Epoch Everlasting, Schylling, Faber-Castell, Fat Brain Toys, the Horizon Group, Learning Resources, Think Fun, Thames & KIosmos, and hundreds more. Learning Express offers toys of exceptional quality and higher play value. “Our franchisees create a “WOW” experience for our customers through striking merchandise displays that stimulate a magical store atmosphere,” shares Sharon. “In-store events, classes, and activities allow franchisees to interact with customers on a personal level while providing first-class customer service that will leave a lasting impression.”
From action, skills, and sports, collectibles to stuffed animals and boredom busters, from arts and creativity to puzzles and brain teasers, Learning Express takes pride in providing unique toys that support learning joyfully and effectively. With a laser focus on providing a fun and friendly shopping environment, the staff at Learning Express is trained to provide expert advice on finding the most suitable toy. “Our stores are carefully designed to provide a hands-on environment where customers can experiment, play, and receive expert advice from well-trained staff members,” adds Sharon. “With the right products, Learning Express Toys can match the needs and interests of any child.” She continues, “We strive to be an integral part of the communities where we are located. Participation in fundraising campaigns for schools and civic organizations as well as in-store events such as storytime, arts, and craft events and costume character visits make each of our stores a hub of activity and a cherished part of their community.”
Learning Express further distinguishes itself from other toy retailers by offering unique and convenient services. “We believe that it’s the simple things that make the biggest impact,” says Sharon. “Our free gift-wrapping, gift registry, free personalization, in-store events, virtual events curbside pick-up, shipping and home delivery make shopping for the perfect toy an easy and enjoyable experience.”