A trial will start next February across five Asda stores which will see The Entertainer taking over the running of the retailer’s toy departments, as part of a wider project which will see the grocer partner with a host of brand specialists.
The exclusive new partnership will see The Entertainer turn the toy section in five trial Asda stores into branded concessions, offering a much larger range of products from leading brands such as Lego, L.O.L. Surprise!, Paw Patrol and Disney, as well as its exclusive range of value Addo Play toys. The partnership is due to launch early next year; The Entertainer will retain full control over ranging, pricing and merchandising in the five selected stores.
In the trial stores, outdoor toys will continue to trade as normal in the seasonal aisle as an Asda offer. Outside of the trial stores, both Spring Summer and Autumn Winter ranges and promotions will continue to be planned for and bought as normal by the Asda toy buying team.
Asda has confirmed that the two businesses will operate separately with their own terms during the trial, and that individual terms packages across suppliers will not be shared between the two businesses.
According to a communication from Asda to toy suppliers, the trial will last for six months, during which time it will “seek to understand the role a partnership could play in driving sales for both parties.”
The move is the latest in Asda's 'test and learn' partnerships strategy, which aims to introduce complementary brands popular with shoppers to the store. The coronavirus pandemic has caused the supermarket to accelerate its plans following shifts in consumer behaviour, which is says indicate shoppers are looking to complete multiple shopping 'missions' on one trip. The jewellery and accessories retailer Claires was brought in last year; this year, The Entertainer joins Greggs, musicMagpie, B&Q and Fragrance Point.
"We are delighted to be partnering with Asda to bring the wonder of The Entertainer to its customers," said Gary Grant, founder & executive chairman of The Entertainer. "The trial, which starts in five stores from February 2021, will give customers the opportunity to shop our range of the latest toys and games, including our great value exclusive range from Addo, where ever is most convenient for them."
Matt Harrison, Asda's senior director of Corporate Strategy and Partnerships, added: "The Entertainer is an expert in toy sourcing and retailing so we are really excited to work with it, and are confident its offering will be very popular with customers. We anticipate working with more great brands like The Entertainer and Fragrance Point in the coming months, as we look to make our stores even better places to visit."