註冊時間: 19/05/2016 15:34:42
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The Entertainer’s Gary Grant on spotting a craze, ethical business and selling toys in Pakistan.
The Entertainer toy stores are going from strength to strength. The independent chain has more than 130 stores in the UK and is opening about 15 a year,cheap jordans free shipping,http://www.vivasanvivat.ru/news/2015-04-28-solnechnyi-ozhog-ili-zagar-bez-problem.html#comment-45146cheapjordanshoesfreeshipping.com/bolg.
Companies House records show that the business generated revenues of nearly ?140m last year,http://www.ukrbeekeeper.com/newforum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=17323cheapjordanshoesfreeshipping.com/bolg,cheap jordans online,http://www.saturnotruco.com/foro/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=416917cheapjordanshoesfreeshipping.com/bolg, with gross profits of ?72.4m. It sells a wide range of branded toys,jordan shoes, from Frozen figures to Lego,cheap jordans, and is being fuelled currently by the latest craze to grip school kids: fidget spinners.
"People ask me: ‘How do you spot a playground craze?’ – and I say: ‘When teachers start banning them',cheap jordans for sale," laughs Gary Grant,cheap jordan shoes, founder and managing director. "They will have come and gone in three or four months.”
Mr Grant says that online sales are his fastest growing segment and shoppers have never been more choosey. It's not possible for all Entertainer stores to stock everything all the time,cheap retro jordans, so sometimes staff help customers order online while they’re in the shop.
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"The internet has had a huge impact on people's shopping habits.
They can buy whatever they want, whenever they want it, and have it delivered exactly how they like it," says Mr Grant. "We have been selling toys for 36 years, and the trade has changed continually, but the pace is getting faster."
The high street has other struggles. Mr Grant, like many entrepreneurs, expresses exasperation at the cost of running a business. The apprenticeship levy, WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive) and the rising living wage are all making business expensive, although he admits that, taken in isolation, they’re reasonable.
He says that business rates, however, are unjustifiable and prevent growth. He accuses politicians of "burying their heads in the
sand" on the issue. "I can find landlords with shops who can be very flexible on rent, but the rates are the reason that we can't afford to open the stores," he says.
Mr Grant describes the business as a "pyramid structure” of which he sits at the top. Beneath him is a team of directors, plus regional and store managers. The founder admits that he's reluctant to delegate and is very hands-on (“which could be interpreted as being interfering"). This stems from the fact that he and his wife, Catherine, built the business from a single shop in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.
“Our roots are in bricks and mortar. We manned the till, unloaded the lorries, cleaned the shop, merchandised the window. Life was very uncomplicated compared to running a business today," he says.
"We learned everything, because we did everything. There's very little that I don't know."
Europe is a very established toy marketGary Grant, The Entertainer
But he’s frustrated that he doesn't understand IT and digital as well as the other parts of the business. "I don't know much about IT. Either it works, or it doesn't, which frustrates me. Even the tills that we have and all the things that plug into them. It's more complicated today.”
Mr Grant speaks regularly at industry events and his philosophy is what he calls “RIG” – which stands for reputation, integrity and generosity.?"Guard your reputation, put it?before all else. Reputations take a long time to gain and are lost very quickly."
He says that, in some firms, executives are set unrealistic targets, so
cut corners and behave unethically in order to attain them. This is why he calls for integrity in business. "The way that you go about doing things is important. We've had some massive company collapses, and the reason is that some of the senior executives in these businesses were being pushed to achieve the unachievable. So in order to do that, they dropped their integrity."
The Entertainer stores have their own charity budgets and run their own fundraising activities. This, of course, is all done with the company founder’s encouragement and blessing, and typifies his third business value: generosity. But, Mr Grant says, it's up to those at the top to set the tone on how the company behaves in society. ??
"Business can be a force for good, but we must lead from the top. It's very difficult for the people in a business to change things, but it’s easier for the senior team in a company to set out the stage for the way that it wants the business, its employees and, where possible, customers, to be generous.?
"There are huge needs in society and there's a responsibility from business leaders to make sure that we put something back into areas where we take money out."
The Entertainer now employs about 1,500 people (ramped up to around 2,000 for the last three months of the year). It’s well established in the UK, but also growing abroad. It's using a franchising model to expand the business and has so far gained 13 partners, including a growing line of stores in Pakistan. It doesn't sound like the most likely of destinations to see this British brand, but Mr Grant says that it makes more sense than Europe. ?
"Europe is a very established toy market, whereas there are still many countries around the world where the toy and retail market is underdeveloped. Historically, if someone wanted to buy branded toys in Pakistan, they would have gone to Dubai on an aeroplane.?
“So in Pakistan, where we have six stores, we’re the market-leading toy retailer. We have the best toy shops in the whole of the country."
Britain's withdrawal from Euratom, the EU's nuclear regulator, could benefit the country as European nuclear co-operation has already been "destroyed" by Germany, Lord Howell of Guildford has claimed.?
The former energy secretary, who voted Remain in the EU referendum, said Germany's decision to phase out nuclear power by 2022 was a "major blow" to nuclear development in Europe. ?
He?also admitted to being "not that worried" about Brexit's impact on the UK nuclear industry, which he claimed has?been stifled by the "old treaty systems" of the EU.
"I myself voted Remain but this is one area where staying in the old treaty systems of the European Union I don’t think was necessarily the best thing for European nuclear development," he said on Tuesday.
"There is no doubt that Germany's unilateral decision to phase out nuclear power was a major blow to effective European nuclear co-operation."...