Toy retailer builds data pool after £13.5m ELC acquistion

entertainer.elcToy and craft retailer The Entertainer, which last year acquired the Early Learning Centre (ELC) from Mothercare in a £13.5m deal, is overhauling its data strategy to create a holistic, single customer view across both brands.

The company was founded by husband and wife team Gary and Catherine Grant in 1981. It claims to be the largest family-owned chain of toy shops in the UK, with over 170 stores nationwide supported by online operation TheToyShop.com. Meanwhile, the ELC has 80 stores in the UK, as well as over 500 international outlets run by franchise partners, and its own dedicated website.

The Entertainer has appointed Mapp Digital to devise a new strategy to reduce online cart abandonment and customer churn, while acquiring new customers, and squeezing more revenue from its existing customer base.

Mapp was selected on the basis of its Mapp Cloud capabilities for customer acquisition and engagement, coupled with the company’s experience in executing successful online strategies for retail brands.

It is claimed the Mapp platform will allow the retailer to seamlessly collect, analyse and act on customer data, while driving engagement to enable higher customer lifetime value and deliver increased revenue year on year.

In addition, Mapp offers campaign management services, providing The Entertainer with a Mapp consultant on hand at all times to execute campaigns, meaning it has not had to employ additional staff while still gaining digital marketing expertise.

The Entertainer head of online Rob Wood said: “As we begin the next phase of integrating the ELC into The Entertainer’s ecommerce business, customers can expect a seamless, personalised experience across all of digital channels, including email, social and the websites.

“We need to provide a helping hand to our customers through product recommendations and expert advice. Mapp will enable us to do this by giving us a more detailed understanding of our customers and communicating the right information at the right time.”

Mapp Digital was launched in 2016 by Marlin Equity Partners when it merged Teradata’s marketing divisions – including eCircle, Appoxee and digital agency Ozone – with BlueHornet, an email marketing company it had owned since the end of 2015.

The company counts brands such as Puma, PepsiCo and KFC among its global client base, while in the UK it also works for Homebase, Argos, Peacocks, Bathstore, and Freesat.

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