Hey! Joy opens second toy store at Roosevelt Field Mall

GARDEN CITY, NY – One of many independent toy companies vying to fill the void left after Toys R Us’s extended departure, Hey! Joy opened her second store at Roosevelt Field Mall last month.

Ukrainian owners, Constantine Rolin, Vadim Chomenko and Oleg Fedkev – who launched his Texas-based startup at the Mall of America in Minnesota in November 2020 – are working to differentiate themselves by integrating in-store experiences with their website which is currently under reconstruction.

By next year, Hey! Toys and games from Joy, a mix of American and European brands, will feature QR codes that customers can scan with smartphones and watch company-created TikTok-like videos demonstrating how their merchandise works.

The brand is designed to bridge the gap between the interests of children and parents. Rolin and his colleagues have experience working in the toy industry and have studied the market extensively. They found that while children tend to play with toys and games purely for entertainment, parents want to buy more educational products for their children, such as levers and link sets from Discovering STEM’s store and Alex’s Ready, Set, Money. To discover.

“The main problem with parents almost all the time is that they want to provide children with a toy that needs some thought,” Rolin said of their findings.

Toys and games are displayed on shelves not by brand or category, but by interests of the child. Emergency vehicles, such as fire trucks and police cars of different brands, are grouped together in one section, while racing cars and monster trucks occupy another area. Likewise, Barbie and Rainbow High fashion dolls are shown together, as are baby and infant dolls.

The 3,600-square-foot Roosevelt Field store also features a short, gravel-filled pool table structure where kids can play with remote-controlled construction trucks. Other stations in the store include hopscotch tiles on the floor, a chair and table for playing Legos, and a retro Mortal Kombat II standalone video game. After Christmas, kids can learn how to make up a mannequin and create handmade jewelry that they can wear to a table with a mirror.

These stations allow customers to test and purchase products, providing hands-on in-store experiences with toys that have declined with the boom in online shopping.

Hey! The owners of Joy are also studying how Amazon works within the toy industry, helping them uncover trends and what customers want. One of the keys to their initial success was to match the prices of their much bigger competitors.

“It’s difficult but we are getting there,” Rolin said. “We have reduced our margin, but we have to do it. Not always Amazon, but Walmart and Target also have the best prices.”

Rolin believes that one of the main reasons Toys R Us went bankrupt was its lack of stores in malls. For this reason, he and his partners plan to open more stores in leading malls owned by Simon Property Group, the real estate company that owns Roosevelt Field and many other top-rated malls across the country. Last month, Hey! Joy opened her third store at Simon’s The Florida Mall in Orlando.

“The physical stores will still be huge, but they have to offer the same prices and better customer service,” he said. “People want the best customer service, fast and easy.”

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