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Learning Express Toys & Gifts in Ann Arbor seeks new ownership

Current owners announce sale of two stores

Toy letter blocks. (Pexels)

ANN ARBOR – The owners of Learning Express Toys & Gifts in Ann Arbor and Sylvania, Ohio announced this week on their website that they are “actively seeking new ownership for these franchise territories.”

The specialty toy and gift franchise features locally-owned locations across the country. The current owners are hoping reopen the two Midwestern shops under new ownership this year, according to a release.

Here in Ann Arbor, the Westgate location closed on Jan. 26, 2021 after nearly 25 years in business.

According to an announcement in December 2020, owners Gary and Molly Fitzpatrick said they were closing their doors to retire. The Fitzpatricks, who owned the store since 2003, said that their retirement was planned “long before COVID changed the retail landscape.”

Below is an excerpt from an email they sent to customers on April 26.

Here’s what we look for in a new store owner:

  • A passion for Learning Express, kids, toys and retail
  • A positive, can-do attitude
  • A financial and business-oriented mindset
  • A minimum of $125,000 in liquid capital available to invest
  • Someone who wants to work for themselves and have FUN doing it!

No previous retail experience is required. That’s what we’re here for! Here’s how we help new owners get going:

  • Set up for success: We offer comprehensive pre-opening & Grand Opening support.
  • Established customer base:  Cutting-edge marketing drives existing and new customers in-store and online.
  • In-demand product mix:  In-depth product knowledge, special pricing and hot product trend alerts are provided by the seasoned LE buying team.
  • Work for yourself, not by yourself: Business support staff and a large owner community is at your fingertips.

To request franchise information, click here.

To learn more about store ownership, visit www.learningexpress.com/franchise.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.