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The Entertainer is building an Early Learning Centre licensing portfolio with Riverside Brands

The UK’s family owned high street toy retailer, The Entertainer has partnered with Riverside Brands to lead its brand extension strategy for Early Learning Centre.

Under the new partnership, both the Happyland and core ELC brand will look to build out wider brand extensions into categories such as apparel, nightwear, health & beauty, publishing, nursery and experiences.

It’s been billed as ‘an exciting partnership for all involved as The Entertainer focuses on growing the Early Learning Centre brand since its acquisition in February 2019’. The partnership also marks a significant move for a retailer into the licensing, highlighting the commitment of the group to support the ELC brand during highly tumultuous times for UK retail.

Stuart Grant, global sourcing officer at The Entertainer, said: “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Riverside Brands on this exciting opportunity for the Early Learning Centre brand. With such a strong heritage as an iconic part of early years development we are confident there is more opportunity for the brand to be an even bigger part of children’s early years by giving them greater access to the characters through carefully selected brand extensions.

“We are confident that Riverside Brands is the right partner to achieve this in a way that protects the brand by securing opportunities to compliment the existing brand heritage.”

Ashley Holman, managing director of Riverside Brands, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with The Entertainer on this exciting opportunity for Early Learning Centre. ELC has been a much-loved brand for nearly 50 years and we’re looking forward to making its iconic characters more accessible through brand extensions into areas such as apparel and bedding.

“Children love these characters, they’re an important part of their early years and we’re looking forward to making them available in categories which will compliment the core toy ranges.”

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