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The Entertainer continues expansion with ELC acquisition: Retailer bucking the high street trend

The UK high street has seen a number of casualties in recent times, with many retailers collapsing and others significantly scaling down operations. In the toys & games market, Toys ‘R’ Us has been the stand out casualty with the retailer closing all of its stores in the UK during 2018 following bankruptcy. Prior to this, Toys ‘R’ Us had been the leading toy retailer in the UK for most of its history after entering in 1985.

The Entertainer seized this opportunity, making 2018 the year for expansion. The retailer opened 18 new stores across the UK in 2018 whilst also investing in its ecommerce platform. The company focused not only on its online offering but also on the experience it provides instore, recognizing the crucial role its stores are playing to the success of the company. This led to the retailer concentrating on the layout of stores and creating an experience that would grab the attention of both children and parents.

Meanwhile, The Entertainer has also been investing in its online retail platform. The company relaunched its website, TheToyShop.com, in September 2018. Changes were made to the website to improve the efficiency of the shopping experience, to improve the ease with which products could be found and also to alter the site so that it more closely reflects the branding seen in stores. What is more, The Entertainer has been reducing spend on traditional advertising and pumping more money into social media and influencers – a shrewd move given the growing trend of toy influencers.

The Entertainer will continue to expand further with its acquisition of the ELC from Mothercare. Mothercare had very much lost its way with the ELC brand and was no longer in a position to develop it. Conversely, The Entertainer now has the opportunity to breathe new life into the toy brand and use it to aid its continued growth in the UK.