INDEPENDENT businesses are making a plea of support this festive season from customers after being hit by the Covid pandemic.

Southend family run toy stores say they want customers to remember them instead of rushing to shop online.

With the festive season fast approaching lots of independent firms and shops are hoping for an influx of custom to help after the lockdown closures.

Bosses of Toys n Tuck say they want to shout from the rooftops to get more people in ahead of Christmas.

Lisa Webster, store supervisor, said the business has so much to offer.

The 54-year-old said: “We don’t want people to forget about us. As an independent business it has been a struggle against bigger chains and online shopping outlets like Amazon.

“We do get people coming in and asking us to price match and we can’t do it. We do get people say they prefer to shop with us.

“We definitely want to spread the word that we are here and have so much to offer our customers.

“In store customers can get a better look at the product and can pick it up and touch it rather than just relying on a picture on website.

“I also think it’s much nicer to shop at independent businesses in store as well.”


She said customers can also ask for advice about presents or gift buying when in the store.

Lisa also said the Covid pandemic saw lots more customers shop online for the first time and remain as online shoppers.

She added: “We were worried about customers not wanting to return but thankfully lots have but I do think more now shop online than ever before.

“And this is not good for us at all. I also think buying on line can be added hassle with sending stuff back.”

Fellow longstanding independent toy firm Argosy made a plea online and it went viral.

The post on Facebook reminding customers to use their business for presents was seen by more than one million people.

It reads: “Hello world! This is my shop. Please remember us this year if you need toys for Christmas.


“Really swimming against the tide of Amazon these days. They make billions in profit and pay a tiny percentage in tax.

“I employ seven local people and pay all due VAT and tax that funds our NHS.

“We have hundreds of Lego sets, as well as thousands of other toys and we regularly help out Southend Hospital Neptune Ward and Great Ormond Street Hospital via the Elsie’s Elephants campaign.”

It has had 537 comments and 15,000 shares with lots of residents saying they will be popping along soon to shop for Christmas presents.