March 22, 2013 // Franchising.com // Devens, MA – Learning Express Toys, the nation’s largest toy store franchisor, launched its revitalized website on Wednesday, March 13. The website, www.learningexpress.com, features content from the corporate office as well as pages for each of the specialty retailer’s 130+ stores nationwide. Learning Express worked with premier Boston web development company, BlueLuna, to execute the project.
“As a group of family run, brick-and-mortar toy stores, building relationships with our customers has always been at the core of what we do,” says Learning Express CEO and Founder Sharon DiMinico. “When we learned that 70% of consumers take a look at a store’s website before actually visiting that store in person, we knew we had to prioritize the overhaul of our site.
Our stores instill trust and confidence by providing unique toys, specialty services like free gift wrapping, and expert toy recommendations. We wanted to ensure that credibility translated to our online space.”
The playful, updated Learning Express Toys site was built with three specific users in mind: customers, current franchisees, and potential franchisees. An updated store locator function allows customers to easily search for local stores, and each Learning Express Toys location has its own page on the site. Customers can access these store pages to view store hours, specialty services, and upcoming in-store events. The new site is built using a content management system, which means current franchisees now have the ability to manage and update their own pages.
The Franchise section of the website gives those interested in opening their own store the franchising information they need to make a decision. In addition to learning about the logistics of buying a store, potential franchisees can visit “The Franchise in Action” page which immerses them in the daily operations of stores with video testimonials as well as monthly spotlights on current storeowners. Learning Express Toys has also integrated their blog, Learning Expressions, into the site, making it more accessible to customers.
The new site has been over a year in the making. “Our goal with this project was to create a site that was whimsical yet professional,” says BlueLuna President Robert Berry. “We worked with Learning Express to evolve and develop their branding, and focused on creating a site that captured the vibrant, customer-centric spirit of the brand.”
During her 26 years in the toy business, DiMinico has seen brick and mortar retail change radically. “When I first founded this company we didn’t have to compete with big box retailers or online stores or mobile apps. We’ve been able to stay relevant by adapting and aligning with the new realities of the retail landscape, while also staying true to our brand touchstones. This new website represents the next iteration of the Learning Express brand, and we couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.”
Learning Express is the nation’s leading franchisor of educational toy stores with more than 130 locations across the country, each one locally owned and operated. Learning Express provides an extraordinary shopping experience with knowledgeable sales staff who can offer expert advice on choosing the perfect toy, for every child, for every occasion. The Learning Express product mix is carefully selected from manufacturers around the world and each toy has exceptional play value. A birthday gift registry, free gift wrapping, free personalization, civic fundraising, and customer VIP programs make each Learning Express store an integral part of its community.
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Based in Boston, BlueLuna is an award-winning interactive design firm with a client list that includes a host of well-respected brands including MIT, Cricket Lighters, MTV, Partners Healthcare and Northeastern University. With their big agency skills and small agency flexibility, they’ve built a reputation for efficiently and effectively delivering truly inspired solutions for their clients. Their team of designers, strategists and developers work seamlessly to produce captivating user experiences that deliver results.
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SOURCE Learning Express