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Gary Grant found employment in the 1970s at a local bike shop in Amersham, his hometown. His natural talent for buying and selling flourished when he recognised a new craze for customised skateboards, so he started selling skateboard accessories while he was still working at the bike shop. The owner of the bike shop was suitably unimpressed that the majority of calls into the store were for Gary and so Gary was let go, set free to start up on his own.
In 1979 Gary married Catherine and they bought a home in Amersham that doubled as a warehouse for their skateboard venture. When Gary recalls this time in his life, he remembers how the ceilings were creaking under the weight of the stock in their house and some of the upstairs doors wouldn’t quite close properly.
The Entertainer began when Gary and Catherine took over the Pram and Toy Bar in May 1981. Catherine was also a full-time Nurse when the first store opened. The previous owner didn’t much like children and Gary and Catherine saw an opportunity to make the shop into somewhere children and adults alike would come and visit, have fun, find something to ‘Entertain’ their time and want to come back again and again.
As the potential and possibility for expansion became real, Gary took on his first employees, one of whom still works for us today heading up our New Store Development Team. A second branch then opened in Beaconsfield, in June 1985. The rest, as they say, is history.
We think we are a unique retail business – like a signature that cannot be copied. Our vision is every childhood filled with wonder. Our mission is to be the Best-Loved Toyshop - one child, one community at a time. We love creating memories and delivering outstanding service. Do you remember visiting a toy shop as a child? Hopefully, those memories are still with you.
Caring. Caring about each other, what we do and how we do it.
Demanding. Toy retailing is demanding and we need you to be demanding of yourself and of us.
Ambitious. We are an Ambitious company opening lots of new stores. We want you to be ambitious as well.
Did you know that Father Christmas visits 823 houses a second? So it’s not surprising that we take nearly 9% of our annual turnover in the last full week before Christmas!
Dolls are considered to be the oldest toys in history.
The yo-yo is believed to be the second-oldest toy in the world. The name ‘yo-yo’ comes from a Filipino expression meaning ‘come come’.
It takes 63 feet of wire to make a Slinky.
We have a business built on loyalty and commitment. The ’Ten Year Club’ is our way of acknowledging and rewarding the people who have worked for us for ten years or more. We believe that this is a significant milestone in your career. This group of long-serving colleagues meet annually at Gary’s invitation to celebrate our successes past and present. Usually, this will be a day off work having a lunch together and visiting somewhere exciting. The Club includes everyone from Sales Assistants to Directors, all of whom have contributed significantly to our ongoing success.
We hope that one day you will be a ‘Ten Year Clubber’ too.