Tuesday 15 October 2019

The Entertainer unboxes expansion plans as profits climb

Trends such as LOL Dolls have helped to boost sales at the retailer.

LOL Surprise! Dolls (PA)
LOL Surprise! Dolls (PA)

By Alys Key, Press Association City Reporter

Toy shop chain The Entertainer has expansion in its sights after reporting sales and profit growth last year.

In the 12 months to January 2018, the retailer posted a 38% increase in profit supported by a 7.4% boost to sales across all channels.

Despite fierce competition from online-only retailers such as Amazon, which have been blamed for the demise of Toys R Us, The Entertainer’s web platform reported a 28% sales increase.

Founder and chairman Gary Grant said the company’s “growth agenda” would continue, backed by strong trading so far in 2018.

“Looking at current trading, I’m encouraged that at our half year 2018/19 total sales increased by 25% with like-for-like store sales growth of 12% and, following the successful re-platform of our website, online sales are trading 21% up on last year,” he said.

“Our growth agenda will continue, and we will be looking at every opportunity to expand both nationally and internationally.”

In the current year, 12 new stores are due to open, while a further 10 will be refitted. This includes the reopening of the flagship store at Westfield London, which has had a £750,000 facelift.

Mr Grant added that the retailer’s growth was partly down to its ability to capitalise on toy trends such as LOL dolls. The heavily wrapped “Little Outrageous Littles” dolls, which are inspired by YouTube “unboxing” videos, proved to be last year’s Christmas toy craze.

In the run-up to this year’s Christmas rush, The Entertainer has opened in-store toy departments at 59 Matalan branches following a successful trial in 2017.

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