Early Learning Centre has joined M&S as a new guest brand to provide a range of toys on the M&S website and app to sit alongside kidswear and gifting ranges for Christmas.
This is the second guest brand as part of M&S’s ‘never the same again’ programme announced in May and is part of a commitment to turbocharging growth online.
Over 200 toys will be added to the M&S website and app to sit alongside existing kidswear and gifting ranges for Christmas.
The curated Early Learning Centre range includes a number of ELC own brand items from cash registers, to pirate ships to farm animals. It also includes many branded toys including Peppa Pig, Playmobil, Happyland and Paw Patrol.
Stephen Langford, M&S.com director said, “We’ve begun to test and learn opening up M&S.com to complementary brands to broaden appeal and help turbocharge online growth. With more customers shopping online this Christmas than ever before, we wanted to strengthen our offer with a selection of Early Learning Centre toys to sit alongside our popular kidswear and gifting ranges. We have over 200 products that can help make Christmas magical for the little ones from trikes, to train sets to talking soft toys. The Early Learning Centre team is experienced at operating as a guest brand and they offer great quality, great value toys – we’re really looking forward working together.”
In February 2019 the Early Learning Centre was acquired by The Entertainer, with a clear vision; to support parents with their child’s early years learning and development through play. Today there are over 300 ELC stores internationally.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer said “We are extremely proud of our Early Learning Centre brand. It has an amazing heritage, supporting children’s learning and development through play for nearly 50 years. ELC is trusted by parents and grandparents alike, many of whom remember the brand being part of their own childhoods. We’re delighted to be partnering with M&S to offer a range of ELC toys via the M&S website, to bring delight and excitement to children through play. Our partnership with M&S will enable us to make the ELC brand even more accessible to our customers online.”
Speaking exclusively to Toy World, Gary Grant reflected on the journey The Entertainer has been on since it acquired the ELC brand and added: “We were delighted when we took the brand on, we had high hopes for what it could bring to our portfolio. So, when we lost Mothercare, it was such a blow – that was very much the home of ELC at that point. But we’ve recovered the situation: we’ve done incredibly well with the brand in our stores, and to relaunch ELC with a retailer of the calibre of Marks & Spencer is an amazing opportunity. They have an incredible database, with around 8m people on it, so we are really looking forward to seeing this new partnership flourish in the run-up to Christmas.”
ELC product is available online at M&S.com now.