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“We always aspired for The Entertainer to be as revered as ELC”

Stuart Grant discusses the business philosophies of one of the UK’s most successful family-owned companies.

The jack-in-a-box motif which anchors The Entertainer’s logo was included by founder Gary Grant right from the start as a visual shortcut to proclaim the first store’s toy orientation, and it has stuck ever since. However it is uncannily appropriate to represent Gary’s son Stuart, whose infectious ebullience is matched by his spring-loaded quick thinking on business, licensing and life in general.

The Entertainer has gained ground by doing things its way, spotting opportunities and acting upon them quickly, earning the retail group an enviable reputation among consumers, landlords, suppliers and staff alike.

Admittedly, its hard negotiating terms, steadfast rules about certain properties (refusal to stock products with links to the occult) as well as a strict adherence to not opening its stores on a Sunday have caused frustrations in some quarters.

Yet, at a time of demise for many hitherto leading retail names, The Entertainer has not only held its own, but thrived. Its success can be tracked in its understanding of consumer buying behaviour, in its canny approach on the supplier side as well as an opportunistic diversification of the retail brands under which it operates and the areas of the globe in which they have a presence.

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