The impact of COVID-19 and its related closures is taking a massive toll on retailers, particularly independent toy stores and those in the specialty realm. Now, the damage is hitting at the association level.

Following the cancellation of its 2020 Marketplace & Academy, the American Specialty Retailing Association (ASTRA) has implemented staffing cuts.

“Over the past few months, all of us in the ASTRA community have felt the impact of COVID-19 on a number of levels both personally and professionally in our businesses,” says ASTRA President Kimberly Mosley.  “The impact of COVID-19 stretches far and wide … we are no longer able to operate in the way we had. We have taken actions to reduce expenses across every level of the organization. After considering all of our options and in light of an uncertain economic outlook after COVID-19, it is with a heavy heart that I share that we are having to say goodbye to talented members of our ASTRA family.”

The departing members of the ASTRA team include Cora McCarron, education administrator; Clare McKeown, meetings and events administrator; Dina Velasquez, meetings and events director; and Robyn Foster, membership coordinator.

The Toy Book continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and how it is affecting the toy industry. For the latest updates, click here.