Cuthberts Toy Story

To Infinity and Beyond...

Key Details

The business

Trading for: 5 years

Sector: Retail

Location: St Albans

Reason for funding

Stock for the Christmas season


- Unsecured business loan

- Fixed repayments

- £25,000 over 18 months

- Funding time: four days

- £65,000 lent in total


- Purchase of additional stock ahead of Christmas season

The mission was to open a toy shop in St Albans – the quaint Hertfordshire market town. Longtime local resident, Kirit Kumar, had noticed that among the bustling street markets and high street retailers, the town’s children were not catered for.

Kirit made it his quest to open a series of independent toy stores, driven by fond memories of picking out toys and games in shops as a boy. This nostalgia compelled him to bring that magical experience back to his community.

Kirit started by creating the Cuthberts Toys brand by naming it after Fireman Cuthbert - a character from the 1960s hit children’s TV programme, Trumpton. Opening its doors for the first time in September 2009, Kirit flung himself into the unknown as a first-time small business owner. But since then, he has grown Cuthberts into an award-winning business, with an online shop and four popular stores around Hertfordshire.

Certainly not child’s play

Running a toy store is by no means child’s play - strong commercial acumen is just one of the building blocks of a successful retail enterprise. Even with a steady stream of revenue, a loyal customer base and continuous expansion, Kirit inevitably experiences dips in cash flow during the slower months. Sometimes, maintaining a busy SME makes Battleships seem easy - Kirit is always planning his next move.

He needs to predict the new crazes and, with 70% of Cuthberts’ annual revenue coming in over the Christmas period, his stock orders need to be right on the button. Not only that, but lead times for orders taking up to 4 months to arrive, so a magician-like ability to balance the finances is crucial. As is knowing when external funding can help.

A sign of the times
A sign of the times : Old-fashioned signage around the marketplace points customers to the Cuthberts Toys shop in St Albans.

Enter Fleximize

Kirit chose Fleximize to help him build the business. His first tranche of funding was a £25,000 Flexiloan in November 2014, which helped him make the most of the festive shopping season. Since then he has topped up with two more loans, totalling £35,000.

I would strongly recommend Fleximize to any other business. Decisions are made within days, which means we continue to run the business how we want to run it, without worrying about the financing aspect. Kirit Kumar

As the main funding source, Fleximize has built a strong 1-to-1 relationship with Kirit. Our team endeavours to continue supporting him with the money he needs to take his toy story to infinity - and beyond.

A cornucopia of delights
A cornucopia of delights : If you’d like to visit a Cuthberts toy store in St Albans, or elsewhere, you can find all the details on the Cuthberts Toys website.

If you’re looking for funding to launch or grow your own small retail business, contact Fleximize to talk about our flexible options: 020 7100 0110. Alternatively, click on Apply Now below to open the door to quick and flexible business funding.

Get started: Apply now