Independent toy stores in Belfast city centre don’t tend to hang around for a long time, but we’re hoping it’ll be different when The Entertainer arrives in Castlecourt.

It’ll be moving in to the top floor at shopping centre in the unit previously occupied by fellow toy retailer Toys R Us who have moved directly downstairs.

Their mission is to be “the best loved toyshop one child, one community at a time”.

Here’s a few things you may be interested to learn about The Entertainer…

1. They’re the biggest independent toy retailer in the UK

The Entertainer is the biggest independent toy retailer in the UK and growing at an average of one new store per month. It has more than 100 stores in the UK, and stocks thousands of products online at thetoyshop.com.

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2. They’re a family business

Husband and wife team Gary and Catherine Grant founded The Entertainer in 1981 when they opened a toy shop in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

3. Charity is at their core

They put a strong emphasis on charity and their shops have an open budget to donate to charities and raise funds through raffle and competition prizes. Their charitable wing is called The Grant Foundation.

4. They won’t be open on Sundays

They’re part of the ‘Keep Sunday Special’ campaign so you won’t find them trading on a Sunday, instead staff who’ve worked hard all week are given a day to relax and spend time with friends and family.

5. Recycling plays a big part in their ethos

Every week the company unpack lots of packages from toy factories, leaving their warehouse piled high with empty cardboard boxes. But rather than see them wasted, they’ve pledged to reuse as many as we can. This means when you order a toy online it might arrive in a recycled box, which is great for everyone because your items are delivered in stronger packages, less waste is produced and fewer trees are chopped down.

Look out for a green recycling sticker on your box – that way you know it’s helping the environment.

6. They believe that toys need to have play value

The Entertainer only sell toys we believe have real play value, represent good value for money and are suitable for the children they’re made for.

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7. They’ll create a host of job opportunities

More than 900 people work in their stores and a further 100 are based at their head office in Amersham. At Christmas the team swells to over 1,000, with an additional 700 Christmas Crew recruited for their busiest time of year.

Also, the company are very active in work placements, helping people back into work or gain valuable experience for their CVs.

8. They’ve been named as one of the top 100 companies to work for in the UK

The Entertainer was named in The Sunday Times list of Top 100 Companies To Work For in 2015 because of their charitable work, leadership and giving their employees a fair deal. Their practical, on-the-job training modules ensure pay increments are rewarded to employees based on performance and hard work. For example, when a team member passes a module their hourly rate of pay is increased.

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