The secrets of our Tesco toy elves

Yasmin Williams

Buying Manager Toys
Welwyn Garden City

20 Oct 2016

How toy buyer Yasmin works with our suppliers to ensure the best toys are on our shelves in time for Christmas.

Have you started planning for Christmas yet? Well I’ll let you in on a secret - I started planning 18 months ago! I’m a toy buyer and I think that I have one of the best jobs at Tesco. I love the variety, the fast paced-nature and most of all, getting to work with toys every day.

Being a toy manager is a bit like being a Christmas elf and on the run-up to Christmas, our office really does look like a workshop! Every year we work hard to select and create toys that our customers – and their kids, will love. And with our new price checking scheme, we’re making sure they’re a great price too.

Planning 18 months ahead might seem like a long time but it means that I, along with my team, can work with our suppliers to secure early launches on new brands and great exclusive products. Parents are under so much pressure every year to pick the perfect toy for their children so we want to help them get it right.

As well as analysing data and trends to help source the right toys, we often go with our gut too. I think what really helps me do my job well is focussing on the mind-set of a young child. I imagine what it is that will get them really excited. I also find listening to my friends' kids talk about ‘what’s cool right now’ helps too.

Every year we select what we think are the ‘top 10 toys for Christmas’. They range from the cute and cuddly, informative and educational to the down-right hilarious. My favourite last year was definitely Pie Face!

Of course with every new toy, we ensure that they're rigorously tested by adults and children alike to make sure they meet the highest health and safety standards.

We have high hopes for our new Sindy range this Christmas, but I think the top toy will be Hatchimals. It's a really cool interactive toy that helps children learn and develop as they play with it.

In just over two months from now, thousands of children across the UK will be gathered around the tree opening their toys from Santa and the little elves that helped create them. What they don’t know though is that one of the little elves is me.

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