Tag Archives: Happy Playz

CIMA MCS Feb 23: Happy Playz

The February 2023 MCS case study follows a company called Happy Playz – a toy retailer with a chain of retail shops and an online presence. CIMA released the official pre seen materials and you can find them here.

I’ve had time to go through the pre seen materials for Happy Playz, so here is my SWOT analysis.

SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS – Business Model

As a toy retailer with a physical bricks and mortar presence, my first fear would be the big online players (like Amazon IRL) would be a major obstacle to overcome. As a consumer myself, I would personally browse the physical shops and see if I can find it online cheaper.

That said, I really like the business model of Happy Playz and they seem to setup on a solid foundation. I will summarise a few points that caught my eye;

  • Shop Locations – Happy Playz are located in convenient retail parks, away from the dying high street shops.
  • Inventory System – They have a sophisticated inventory system, ensuring latest toys are available in shops.
  • Staffing – recruitment emphasizes enthusiasm and personality meaning shoppers are more likely to buy in store.
  • Profit Centres – each store is run like a profit centre, with each store manager given a responsibility and authority to offer discounts and use local knowledge for store displays and layout etc.

In order to succeed in this industry and given Happy Plays only have 10% of the market in Westarian, they will need to squeeze out value at every corner and their business model looks very strong on paper.

WEAKNESSES – Retail Parks

image taken from the CIMA MCS November 2022 pre seen materials

A strength can also be a weakness and vice versa.

While I do like the retail park location when compared to the traditional high street stores, there is a news article at the back of the pre seen materials “Westaria Business Daily” that focuses on the rise and all of the retail parks.

You are effectively at the whim of the retail park and how successful they are at attracting footfall. If they fail to fill vacant stores and don’t cater with restaurants and ample parking etc. Happy Playz could see a decline in customers at those locations where the retail park has fallen into decline.


The issuance of a Happy Playz club card on page 24 of the pre seen materials is brilliant news, not only in increasing customer loyalty but the gathering of data and shopping habits of their customers will prove invaluable.

Put simply, the company will track individual members’ purchases from Happy Playz and their browsing histories on the Happy Playz website and will recommend related products for future purchases. A customer who buys a fashion doll, for example, might receive an email about the launch of a new range of outfits for that doll.

There are 800,000 downloads of the mobile app! There will lots of data and customer analytics that Happy Playz will have on their hands, so the efficient use of “Big Data” will help them drive more growth and profitability.

THREATS – Compliance and Toy Safety

The news article on page 23 of the pre-seen materials “Westaria Daily News” is a column on Toy Safety and compliance, which all seems like common sense stuff but there is a red flag here when we are told;

Toys cannot be sold in Westaria unless they meet the safety standards. They must also be free of any obvious threats to safety that are not covered by the standards. The manufacturer is responsible for compliance if the toys were manufactured here. The importer is responsible if the toys were manufactured elsewhere

Couple this fact with the statement made on page 11 of the pre-seen materials, where are we are told that;

The Purchasing Department is responsible for placing orders with manufacturers, many of whom are based overseas.

I view this as Happy Playz are classed as the importer for the majority of their products and therefore are responsible for toy safety standards

While the final two paragraphs seem to dampen the risk on Happy Playz by saying;

Retailers are not specifically required to conduct their own safety tests on toys provided they have received all the necessary assurances that they meet Westarian standards, but many retailers voluntarily conduct tests.

These standards do seem to be effective. Statistics show that most toy-related injuries are caused by people tripping or slipping on toys

But I still see this an area of concern and potentially it came be turned into a competitive advantage, if Happy Playz were to setup their own internal quality control to test, evidence and document there safeguards it can be seen as strength to standout against their competitors.

Parents take safety very seriously when buying toys and games for their children.

CIMA MCS Feb 2023: Astranti Case Study course

I used the full Astranti MCS case study course to pass the MCS exam first time many years ago, it’s packed with resources and tutor support, the full package contains;

  • Pre seen materials pack (analysis, top 10 issues, industry examples & 30 questions)
  • 5 x mock exams with feedback
  • 3 x LIVE and recorded master classes
  • Syllabus theory revision series
  • Exam technique series
  • Ethics and questions packs
  • Tutor feedback
  • Pass guarantee & money back guarantee