TRA chairman resigns amid accusations

Industry group brings forward announcement following accusations of ?inappropriate commercial activities?
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The chairman of The Toy Retailers Association, Gary Grant, has resigned from the group.

The TRA board has announced the move early following accusations of “inappropriate commercial activities” by Grant’s company The Entertainer.

“Since Toymaster Director’s concerns were made known, we had planned to address these through face-to-face discussions between our organisations,” read a statement.

“We continue to work towards that amicable, positive and complementary relationship between major players in our industry.”

But it added: “Following our Board becoming aware of correspondence from Toymaster Directors to their members, regarding what Toymaster deem to be inappropriate commercial activities by our chairman’s company, the Board has brought forward [Grant’s resignation] announcement, which was planned for early November.”

TRA distanced itself from any allegations that Grant’s company are at the centre of: “It is the Board’s view that the commercial arrangements of the Entertainer are totally independent of any other relationships with TRA, or Gary’s role as chair.”

Gary Grant has served the TRA as chairman and board member since 1989. He submitted his resignation to the Board in July, which the TRA said was “reluctantly accepted”.

“Our aim continues to be the strengthening of an effective independent association which is widely supported by the industry, evidenced by significant new membership in the last 12 months, and overwhelming support for Dream Toys,” the statement continued.

Alan J Simpson, Toy Retailers Association’s vice chairman, said Grant “has provided outstanding and totally unbiased support to suppliers, and to products at Dream Toys which on occasions he did not even stock, and has always had the complete confidence of the Board and trade at large during his entire term of office.

“As vice-chairman I will be proceeding as planned to hold discussions with members and non-members alike with a view to serving the entire industry and especially its retailers in a transparent and effective way.”

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