Upper West Side toy stores working together to stay open

With the rise of online retailers and rising rents in New York City, it’s become more and more difficult for Mom & Pop shops like West Side Kids on the Upper West Side to stay open. 

“We’ve survived a lot already,” said owner Jennifer Bergman. “I think that the current environment is a little bit different.”

A part of their neighborhood for 40 years, trying to make it for another 40 years is getting tougher and tougher for West Side Kids, or other nearby toy stores like Stationary and Toy World. So now, both stores have joined forces to assist each other. If one store is out of something, they will call the other and send customers there.

“What we really do is just send customers back and forth,” Bergman said. “If I don’t have something, she’s the first store I send someone to.”

“If I don’t have it and you need something, I feel that you will look at me in a different way if I tell you where you can get it, and you would appreciate it,  instead of running all over Manhattan looking for an item,” said Donna Schofield, owner of Stationary and Toy World. 

Both owners say that the need for this type of unified front is very real, as more and more brick and mortar buisnesses are disappearing from New York City's streets.


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