Learning Express Toys & Gifts Logo

About Learning Express Toys & Gifts

Founded in 1987, Learning Express is the largest franchiser of specialty toy stores in the United States. We currently have over 120 locations nationwide, each independently owned and operated. With Learning Express you’re in business “for yourself, not by yourself.”​ Our local stores are dedicated to providing quality toys, expert staff, exceptional customer service, and community support through fundraising—the keystones of the Learning Express brand.

The Learning Express product mix is carefully selected from manufacturers around the world that produce toys with exceptional play value. Among these distinguished affiliates are Alex, American Girl, Blue Orange, Calico Critters, Cloud B, Creativity for Kids, Gund, Hot Wheels, International Playthings, Klutz, Learning Resources, LEGO, Mattel, Melissa & Doug, Playmobil, Schylling, Scientific Explorer, Skip Hop, Small World Toys, Sticky Mosaics, ThinkFun, Three Cheers for Girls, Toysmith, Ty, and Workman Publishing.

Why Learning Express?

In franchising, it’s all about support and community. Learn below how we support our store owners, work together, and maintain the nation’s best curated mix of specialty toy and gift products.

SUPPORT – New Learning Express franchisees typically have no retail management or business ownership experience, but our comprehensive Training & Support Program helps you open your Learning Express franchise efficiently and effectively. The Program starts well before you attend Home Office Training and months before we spend the three to four weeks in your store training you and your team.

LOCATION – Location is critical. Our in-house real estate team will advise you in selecting the right location and negotiating the best business terms for your lease.

GRAND OPENING MARKETING – Get the word out! Our marketing department analyzes past performance to advise you in the most effective advertising channels and will help design and implement your marketing plan across print, digital and community-based media.

ON-SITE GRAND OPENING SUPPORT – After you complete your classroom training, we support you through your opening for three weeks, making sure that your inventory has been received and merchandised, and ensuring that you and your staff are comfortable with the day-to-day fundamentals of running your business.

– Ongoing Support – Your Grand Opening is an exhilarating experience, but there is more to do to grow your business, and we are with you all the way. We offer ongoing training and support that’s designed to help take your business to the next level. Additional first-year classroom training, webinars, phone calls, and visits from in-field support experts will give you the knowledge and confidence to grow your business.

– Marketing – An exciting marketing program is key to retail sales growth. Our in-house graphics department not only designs all of the materials for your Grand Opening, they produce ads, banners, email graphics, postcards, and catalogs that are available on our Intranet. On request, they also provide customized materials for your local needs. Social media is very important in today’s retail environment, so we train you to provide effective, engaging content for your customers.

– Buying & Inventory Management – The perfect product mix is important at Grand Opening to wow customers but it also needs to remain fresh, unique, and up to date to keep them coming back. Our buyers work full-time sourcing new product, negotiating vendor terms, and monitoring market trends to make sure the right products with the best terms in the industry are included in our buying program.

Company Founded


Current Leadership

Sharon DiMinico, FoFranchises Under & CEO

Started Franchising

1990 (31 years)

Total Number of Units

91 (as of 2020)

Part-Time / Full-Time

Full Time

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Learning Express Toys & Gifts Franchise?

There are several costs associated with opening a Learning Express Toys & Gifts franchise. There is typically a franchise fee set by the franchisor, which covers the costs of opening a franchise location. Some other commons fees include equipment fees, marketing fees, licensing fees, insurance, and taxes, to name a few.

Some franchises may have a weekly fee that the franchisee pays for operating a Learning Express Toys & Gifts franchise. The weekly fee for opening a Learning Express Toys & Gifts franchise is not specified.

The full breakdown of these fees can be found in the Financial Disclosure Document (FDD) provided to franchisees by the franchisor. The FDD report will contain additional information such as whether the franchise is renewable (Learning Express Toys & Gifts Is Renewable) and does the franchise offer financing support (Learning Express Toys & Gifts Learning Express Toys & Gifts has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, payroll).

Learning Express Toys & Gifts Company Details

Here are some additional details about Learning Express Toys & Gifts.

Initial Investment $35,000
Net Worth Requirement $300,000
Royalty Fee 5%
Cash Requirement $125,000
Term of Agreement 10 years
Absentee Ownership No
Run from Home No
Part Time No

Training and Support Offered By Learning Express Toys & Gifts

Learning Express Toys & Gifts offers several support options to its franchisees. With 91 (as of 2020) units, Learning Express Toys & Gifts aims to provide support to each franchise owner to help them operate a successful franchise location. Learning Express Toys & Gifts offers 228 hours on the job training, 28 hours classroom training, and At toy fair, annual convention additional training.

Training and Support Offered

Here are the support options offered by Learning Express Toys & Gifts.

On-The-Job Training 228 hours
Classroom Training 28 hours
Additional Training At toy fair, annual convention
Ongoing Support
  • Newsletter
  • Meetings & Conventions
  • Grand Opening
  • Online Support
  • Security & Safety Procedures
  • Lease Negotiation
  • Field Operations
  • Site Selection
  • Proprietary Software
  • Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
  • Co-op Advertising
  • Ad Templates
  • National Media
  • Regional Advertising
  • Marketing Planning & Support
  • Social Media
  • SEO
  • Website Development
  • Email Marketing
  • Loyalty Program/App
Learning Express Toys & Gifts Logo

Is Learning Express Toys & Gifts Right For You?

Learning Express Toys & Gifts has gone digital! Here are all of the ways you can find Learning Express Toys & Gifts online. Oftentimes, you can reach out to current franchisees of Learning Express Toys & Gifts online. Current franchisees may be able to offer personalized insights into what it is like owning a Learning Express Toys & Gifts franchise and offer tips to running a successful Learning Express Toys & Gifts franchise location.


Why Should You Start a Learning Express Toys & Gifts Franchise?

Investing in a Children franchise such as Learning Express Toys & Gifts can kickstart your franchise portfolio. Our goal at Why Franchise is to provide you with the resources needed to be a successful franchise owner. Fill out the form below to get more information about Learning Express Toys & Gifts franchise and we'll be in touch soon!

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