Toy story

Toy story

Sorted editor Steve Legg headed to Little Chalfont to speak to Gary Grant, the founder and managing director of The Entertainer, the UK’s largest independent toy retailer, to find out what has changed since his store opened in 1981, why treating kids like royalty is vital, and why family life is more important than opening on Sundays.

How did you build a multi-million-pound toy empire?

We moved to Buckinghamshire when I was three years old and we had no cash, so as a youngster I had many different jobs. I would sweep leaves up, clean snow off people’s drives and wash cars, and then when I went to senior school I had lots of other jobs, so I worked in a sweet shop, helped on a milk round and in a bike shop too. I had a morning and evening paper round and that’s how I earned cash and got going.

I left school at 16 with one O level in maths which has served me really well, and I started working full-time in the bike shop. The skateboard boom from the mid-1970s meant the shop...

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