It’s the final stretch of the year, what’s referred to as “quarter four” in retail. And this year, it started earlier than ever as supply chain and staffing issues necessitated some serious foresight. It’s a good thing Lori Badanes, owner of neighborhood toy store Einstein’s Attic, is a planner.
Lori began placing her holiday stock orders as early as July, and her timing was spot on; as of October 1, no new orders were being accepted by her vendors and suppliers, she said.
“I never leave any deliveries to quarter four because if they cancel them, you just don’t get them in,” she said. “It’s just ingrained in me, to get it early, and we really did.” Einstein’s Attic receives 100 boxes of merchandise a week, shipments that remained steady enough to fill her store with gift ideas for kids of all ages well into 2022.
With a background in developmental psychology, Lori chooses to stock hands-on toys that have real “play power,” she said. Yes, there are pizza-shaped inflatable mattresses for sale, and other “just for fun” options, but as the store’s sole curator, Lori focuses most of her energy on items like robotics and the highly in-demand “Rainbow Bagel Making Kit” by Farm Steady, which gets kids experimenting in the kitchen.
“Unless I see how your children are going to play with it and what’s going to happen with it, I just can’t buy it,” she said.
The pandemic, while challenging for so many small businesses, also pushed Einstein’s into a world of online convenience; the store now offers local delivery and ships wrapped gifts anywhere in the United States. Customers can shop online, or make wish lists to share with family and friends near and far.
More than anything, Einstein’s is a labor of love, said Lori, who likes to participate in community events, toy drives and other fundraisers throughout the year.
“My biggest joy is having the platform to help all of our community,” she said. “I’m just really thankful for the whole store. And I’m so thankful for everyone that supports us.”
Einstein’s Attic is located at 79 Main Street in Northport and is open from 10am to 6pm, every day. Shop online at www.shopeinsteinsattic.com.