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Laura, Store Manager

Hi, I’m Laura (that’s me, in the middle!) and I’ve been the Store Manager of The Entertainers Global Flagship for over three years now. There are some fantastic stories of progression within the business, however not all our journeys started as a Sales Assistant. Including mine! I was an external applicant for a Store Manager when I joined, and I’ve never looked back.

Day to day I do all the jobs a normal Store Manager does but I also have added responsibilities. A lot of filming and promotional events take place in the store. I also have various guests who visit ranging from our Head Office team and our International Partners. I get to work closely with a lot of senior management within Head Office, including our Founder and Executive Director, Gary Grant. This not only brings a different dynamic to my job, but it helped me establish amazing working relationships within many sectors of the business, which will only help with my future ventures within The Entertainer.

One of the proudest moments whilst working here has been winning The Top Team Area Award in 2018. Striving to be the best team and store is one thing, who doesn’t want that! Having this recognised by senior management and our Regional Manager was something quite different.

To be a Flagship manager in The Entertainer being organised (my notebook is never too far from me), commercial minded, sales driven, passionate about toys and a strong leader are key qualities. A phrase often used by myself is, ‘having aces in their places’, that’s what I do within all parts of my role. You also need to know when to have fun and get down to the little human’s level! Our stores should be what children’s dreams are made of.

Having such a fast-paced store means I can’t do it on my own. My team are the most valuable thing to me. Taking time to train and build their confidence is just as important as looking at any sales report. During my time here I have helped 5 members of my team progress and aim to continue supporting my team with their progression in the future.

Every day I walk into the store, and I am proud to be a part of this incredible team. So, if you are ambitious, caring and can manage the demands of a toy retailer this is the place for you. Come and join the fun!

Karen, Area Mananger

I’ve been part of The Entertainer family for twenty-one years, joining the business in 2000 as a Christmas Temp and almost immediately I knew I wanted to be a part of the company for as long as I could. From the get-go I was encouraged, supported, and challenged to be the best I could be. 21 Years later, as an Area Manager, I am responsible for 19 stores across the South West. My role may be different, but my place is the business feels very much the same, one of security and belonging. Any company can have a set of values and often have a generic company vision; however, The Entertainer live and breathe theirs with passion, drive and determination.

Like any family, it can be challenging at times and every team member is expected to play their part, to work hard and to go the extra mile but I feel I belong, that I matter and that I am encouraged to develop and grow. I am not alone in my career progression, and many have proven that with a can-do attitude, with dedication and with ambition, the opportunities are there for the taking. Retail can be a challenging career but when doing it within The Entertainer environment it feels rewarding, a place where you make a difference to a child and their family and those type of memories really do last a lifetime…...

Why wouldn’t anyone not want to be a part in that?

Mary, Licensing Manager

I joined The Entertainer in September 2019 as Licensing Marketing Executive after previously working in public relations for a number of agencies crossing toys, food & drink and technology. With The Entertainer being one of my first ever clients!

However, looking for a change and a return to the world of toys, an opportunity came up to join the marketing team and work on the Licensing function of the business. I soon found this role was exciting, varied and involved working with a number of different teams in the business to deliver engaging marketing campaigns for our partners. So, whether that’s celebrating the release of the Paw Patrol Movie or offering visit’s to Santa’s Grotto virtually in partnership with Mattel; there is always something fun that this team is focusing on.

Working closely with the Buying team, my role includes regularly communicating the plans we are putting in place with suppliers and licensors and ensuring the product is on shelves at the right time to capitalise on this increased customer buzz. This also means regularly attending previews and showcases to see what’s ahead and looking at how we can plan best-in-class initiatives that are bigger and better than any other retailer with a toy offering.

Since starting, I have been lucky enough to be promoted to Licensing Manager which means I now lead this team in driving our ambition to secure and activate third-party marketing campaigns for The Entertainer. Joining The Entertainer has been the best career move I’ve made and if you’re tenacious, hardworking, and passionate you could also fit right into the business and its culture.

Lianne, Senior Marketing Communications and Brand Manager

I started at the Entertainer in 2010, I interviewed for a temp position, so it was a really quick turnaround. I interviewed on the Friday and by Monday I was working on shelf talker POS for stores at the head office in Amersham. I started off working on small format POS, sending out supplies to stores and helping the marketing manager with flyers and the Christmas catalogue. I was asked to become a permanent member of staff as the Retail Marketing Coordinator after a couple of months and become a real member of the then, very small marketing team!

I was in the very fortunate position that I joined The Entertainer at a time of growth. My other roles in the company have included Campaign & Activation Manager and Marketing & Licensing Manager. These roles have meant I have worked on retail marketing, catalogues, online marketing, social, PR, events, brand licensing campaigns and much more. I have seen the marketing team grow from 2 people to now 22 people with myself in a Senior Manager position. Working at The Entertainer has allowed me to grow and learn and has always been there with a new opportunity for progression.

Matt, International Franchise Controller

I joined The Entertainer in 2009 as the Store Manager of Derby, as a stop gap for a year whilst I worked out what I wanted to do with my career. 12 years, 4 cities, and 5 job titles later I am now responsible for 300 stores across 3 continents, from Dublin to Dubai!

After joining as an Assistant Manager from another retailer, immediately I knew I had made the right decision. The induction plan was incredibly detailed and allowed me to learn the role ‘on the job’, in one of our training stores. I was impressed at the amount of training courses, particularly the bespoke and detailed content. The values of being Caring, Demanding and Ambitious were demonstrated daily by everyone in the business.

Within The Entertainer succession planning is a core part of what we do. After 2 years of working in Derby, I went on to manage one of our stores, in Gateshead. I had further opportunities to develop my career by being invited on ‘Aim Higher’, The Entertainer’s pathway for ambitious Store Managers. I also became a training Store Manager myself and started training people who were just like me a few years before.

In 2013, I was asked if I could do a secondment to our first ever international store in Dubai. I lived there for 3 months and was able to truly deliver our business mission to be ‘the best loved toy shop, one child, one community at a time’.

I then took the big leap – from standing up all day in stores, to sitting down all day in the office! I joined the International Team full time in 2014. In that time, I have overseen the department’s growth from 1 shop, to 300 across 30 different countries. My professional development has continued to be a priority; the business has given me the opportunity to develop new processes, deliver business objectives and develop my own team.

I have also been very lucky to have travelled the world and see places and countries I would have never gone on holiday to! I’ve seen the world’s tallest building in Dubai, and the Pyramids of Egypt. Who would have thought there was a statue of the Beatles on top of a mountain in Kazakhstan?! Working for The Entertainer, whether in stores or in the office is a fast paced and dynamic environment. If you like a challenge, career progression opportunities and working collaboratively with a great group of people, then The Entertainer is the right place for you!