GREAT FALLS — Since toy stores have been deemed nonessential, toy store owners have had to toy with new ideas for operation. Great Falls' Let's Play Games & Toys has closed their doors and refocused on their online store, to bring their games and toys directly to customers.
Let’s Play Games & Toys Store Owner Lee Wiegand said during the beginning of coronavirus restrictions, the store operated on a curbside-only basis.
“Before we were doing curbside pick-up and delivery, we weren’t letting anybody in the store. In fact, we would..put the bag on the outside of the door, lock the door, and then they would come and pick it up,” Weigand said.
But Wiegand said, when the Cascade City-County Health Department told them it was no longer allowed for nonessential businesses -like theirs- to provide curbside service, they had to think outside of the box.
“We are a nonessential business and nonessential businesses are not allowed to do curbside pickup and have employees of that nonessential business deliver their product,” Wiegand said.
Now the store relies on courier and shipping services to deliver their toys, instead of having customers pick them up at or in front of the store.
The new shopping and delivery method is as follows:
- Visit shopgreatfallsgames.com to browse online store
- Head to checkout
- Select delivery option -courier service for Great Falls customers, shipping service for customers outside of Great Falls
The Courier Service offers same-day delivery if the order is placed before 4 p.m. and for the shipping service, delivery will depend on the mail carrier.
Wiegand says they’re currently using BlackedOut 406 Taxi to deliver in-store products to customers within city limits and shipping services for those outside of Great Falls.
Wiegand said customers can request a specific delivery time in the online notes section and have their item delivered within 30 minutes. “(The courier service drivers) haven’t taken more than 15 minutes to come pick it up from us,” Wiegand said.
The delivery costs are $7 for the courier service and $20 for shipping or free shipping with a purchase of $100 or more.
April 19th will be the first time the online store has been open on Sunday, since the downtown store is typically closed Sundays and Mondays. Since Sunday in-store sales have been successful in the past, Weigand is hopeful that this weekend will bring in online traffic as well.
“Usually when we’re allowed to be open for people to walk in, Sunday’s are a really popular day for us...If we get an influx of orders on Sunday we’ll come in and process those and maybe have to rearrange our schedule...Even if we get 1 coming in, we’ll come in and process it,” Wiegand said.
“A lot of people have been pre-ordering things. We’ve sold a lot of gift cards...Support has been fantastic,” Wiegand said.
While the store is closed to the public, Wiegand will still be holding down the storefront. “There’s still a lot of stuff that needs to be done. We’re doing a lot of cleaning. Since we are doing shipping and delivering we’re reordering things, we’ve got a lot of work to do on our website. There’s still a lot of work to do at the store,” Wiegand said.
Store members will be in-store processing orders from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.