Earlier today, myself and Harrison had the pleasure of a quick whistle stop tour of the new Entertainer Toy Shop in Silverburn Shopping Centre, ahead of the grand opening tomorrow. Founded by husband and wife team Gary and Catherine Grant in 1981, it is very much a family business, and the family values translate to the store. Never has an Entertainer store opened on a Sunday, and gives 10% of all annual profits to childrens charities. The shop is located directly across from New Look and the United Colours of Benetton, and given that there is no longer any specific toy shops in Silverburn, it's a welcome addition.
The grand opening is tomorrow - Saturday 3rd December, just in time for the festive period. You can expect demos, balloons, competitions and various characters to take pictures with - there's also a free Lego gift with every Lego purchase, and many chances to win other bits and bobs! More than that, you'll have the chance to experience everything The Entertainer has to offer.
Everything about the store has been calculated carefully for the kids - it's not so much a place to just pick up the latest toy, but to make an experience out of it. They pride themselves in letting children play, and the staff do everything they can to interact and leave a positive impression on the kiddos. The elf hats help as well, it's hard not to feel positive when talking to someone wearing an elf hat. At every till, there are steps. It's such a small feature, but it makes all the difference. Giving the kids the opportunity to hand over their own pocket money, and have their purchase be their own, is such a nice touch. The pocket money section, is a proper pocket money section, with proper toys that you wouldn't get free in a cereal box. Everything is a £1, so it's perfect for very young kids who don't need any more than that, and who just enjoy the idea of pocket money and choosing their own toy.
One of the key values of The Entertainer as a business is been an affordable option - it's no secret that the price of toys is growing with the booming tech market, and keeping it accessible for families is extremely important. At any one time, there are multiple discounts running across the store, whilst I was in today, the store was flooded with 50% and 30% off signs, not to mention all of the advertising for the Penny Sale. One of the campaigns running this Christmas, is the Tale of The Magic Penny, an an ad campaign promoting the Mix & Match Penny Sale across the store. It is exactly what it sounds like, buy one product, take home another one for 1p. The magic of this offer though, is it's not just the crap that nobody wants that's included: to name but a few, Paw Patrol, Furby Boom, Monopoly, Spider-Man and My Little Pony products are all included, there are literally thousands of mix and match combinations. It's a great incentive coming up to Christmas, and perfect for making an expensive time slightly more affordable.
So aside from the obvious Penny Sale, the other discounts, and the family values what else does The Entertainer have to offer? The shop itself is bright and airy - it's easy to feel claustrophobic in other toy shops, but everything is well spaced out and I didn't feel overwhelmed at any point. Often, with a bulky pram, it's hard to maneovre small aisles, but the clever spacing allows for two big prams to fit side by side, and that makes all the difference - I know this only because there was A LOT of prams kicking about today, and it made everything a lot easier. Small aisles are one of the reasons I avoid Hamleys like the plague! It's also very clearly mapped out, colour coded and well sign-posted to the point where even someone with severe case of baby brain can easily locate the Pre-School area.
I won't lie, they don't have Hatchimals. They also have a few exclusive products though - they are the first brand to collaborate with Nickelodeon, and have a range of products that can only be bought through the entertainer! One of the other items that looked great were the Jacket Pack It Pets, and this is the only chain in the UK that stocks these, so sure fire to be a best-seller at Christmas (£6.66).
I can't thank The Entertainer enough for having us in today, I'd like to say that Harrison had a whale of a time, but unfortunately he managed to sleep from the minute we put him in his car seat. 2 month old problems! It did mean I also got to have a quick browse for myself, and had to stop myself from picking up a Teddy Bear bigger than myself, and What U Talkin Bout?, the perfect game to embarrass yourself with after a few glasses of wine on Christmas Day, I'll definitely have to go down and pick that one up! We'll be back very soon - if you happen to be in the Glasgow area on Saturday 2nd December by all means jump in for the grand opening! I'll be back in the hope I can get a picture with a giant Ninjago character, let's just hope my baby stays awake long enough for me to have an excuse...