About Early Learning Centre
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A Little About
History of Early Learning Center
ELC is a British child and baby toy seller focusing on learning and educational toys. The first Early Learning Centre store opened in 1972 the location was London Road, Reading Berkshire. From the very beginning the founder David John Beal used the services of a child psychologist. This was to ensure the toys would provide positive learning value to children.
Originally it was established as a mail order company and based near Swindon. It became so successful by 1980 they had ten shops. This eventually grew to include over 200 shops in the UK, with over a further 80 in other countries including Canada, Australia and United Arab Emirates. They also sold their toys through major stores like Boots, Sainsbury’s and Debenhams. In 2001 the Early Learning Centre got in on the internet shopping boom launching the website elc.co.uk.
In May 1985 ELC was acquired or some say rescued by John Menzies. During the 1990s they did struggle financially and in 2001 was bought back by the board of directors led by Mike France. It went on to be sold to Eagle Retail Investments, a consortium of Tim Waterstone who also founded the bookstore Waterstones.
Mothercare.com purchased the Early Learning Centre in June 2007 for £85 million. Mothercare has continued to grow the ELC presence on the high street by opening further toy stores. Most were concessions in Mothercare stores and other franchised stores around the world. In March 2019 it is sold yet again this time to The Entertainer for £13.5 million. The Entertainer is a good fitting home for them being a family run and owned toy shop chain in the UK. It was founded by husband and wife business duo, Gary and Catherine Grant whose vision was to create the best loved toyshop. They also operated on the internet as TheToyShop.com.
The early learning centre is famous for selling toys that are designed for very young children to encourage learning. The basis is still to have fun at the heart of play but with specialist toys that inspire development.
Yes this is a really good service if you don’t want to carry bulky toys home. You can arrange to have your buys delivered to your home; this is for mainland UK only.
Most of their products can be delivered to your local Early Learning Centre store for collection. Select their click and collect option when checking out for this service.