TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - In the peak of its busy holiday season, Toys"R"Us Canada announced today a strategic multi-year exclusive supply agreement with Addo Play Limited, a vertical division of The Entertainer UK Limited. The multi-year deal is expected to significantly step up Addo Play's global trading footprint, making Toys"R"Us Canada a pivotal part of the UK start-up's growth trajectory and plans.
"We're truly excited to be partnering with Addo Play to enhance our exclusive selection of toys for our customers," says Melanie Teed-Murch, President of Toys"R"Us Canada. "The company's toy range is impressive, and customer focused, so being able to offer this exclusively in Canada is an achievement and partnership we are proud to reveal. Addo Play's toys inspire fun, imagination and wonder, which truly reflects our ongoing mission to bring joy to children and their families here at Toys"R"Us Canada."
Toys"R"Us Canada, now proudly 100% Canadian-owned and operated, acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, has been looking for new innovative routes of supply to augment its differentiated and exclusive offerings in toys. Nick Jr Ready Steady Dough, Pitter Patter Pets, B Friends and Nickelodeon Liquid Lava Putty among many others; Addo Play's ranges offers outstanding value for money and are designed with intelligence and care, presenting a meaningful, differentiated solution for the Canadian toy authority.
"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to share this news and cannot wait to help Toys"R"Us Canada to build upon its complementary range of exclusive toys," comments Mary Price and Dave Martin, Co-Founders of Addo Play.
"Addo Play's uniquely curated range of toys offers consumers a high-quality choice of products through our design led categories which include compounds, craft, mechanical plush, science and dolls to name a few. We're in the midst of planning the creation of many new lines that will be developed exclusively for Toys"R"Us Canada. We look forward to building a strong, long-term, mutually beneficial partnership."
"Our customers simply love the Addo Play toy range, which has been established as one of our leading brands in a very short space of time. Securing a strategic partnership with Toys"R"Us Canada is a true recognition of this success," says Gary Grant, Founder and Chairman of The Entertainer.
The Addo Play range will be exclusively available in Toys"R"Us Canada stores across the country, as well as online, from January 2019. For further information on Toys"R"Us Canada visit, toysrus.ca and on Addo Play, visit addoplay.com.
About Toys"R"Us (Canada) Ltd
Since 1984, Toys"R"Us Canada has been Canada's leading dedicated specialty retailer of toys and baby products. The company brings national brands, exclusive products, innovative loyalty programs and unique partnerships to Canadians at its 82 stores across Canada and through its e-commerce sites Toysrus.ca and Babiesrus.ca. Committed to giving back to its communities, the company focuses its charity efforts on supporting children and their families whether enhancing resources and services, helping development through play or offering distraction and encouragement to seriously ill children. Toys"R"Us Canada is a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.
About Addo Play Ltd
Addo Play is the brainchild of David Martin and Mary Price, both of whom have built life-long careers in the Toy Industry.
David's toy story started in 1995 when he joined Mattel as a graduate trainee. After more than 10 years of working his way up the ranks, he joined Mega Brands/Mattel in 2008 as UK General manager before becoming Vice President of International in 2011.
Mary has also always worked in toys. Her own story began at Woolworths in the late 90's as a Buying Assistant in Preschool Toys where over time, she progressed to managing the Toy Buying Team building a huge wealth of experience in all categories managing a £300m buying budget. She then moved via Tesco to Mega Brands/Mattel. Mary is passionate about products and feels strongly that producing a great toy starts with seeing everything from a consumer perspective.
Martin and Price's skills and passion for toys complement each other perfectly and is testimony to the success that Addo has enjoyed in such as short space of time. Together their vision is to create a wide range of authentic, well thought through everyday toys offering the consumer both outstanding price and play value.
The company was founded in April 2015. After just 8 months of planning, development and initial manufacture, Addo started shipping product in 2016.
The company currently employs 28 staff across offices in the UK and Hong Kong.
About The Entertainer
The Entertainer Toy Shop is Britain's favourite specialist toy retailer which today has 160 shops around the UK and a further 87 around the globe. The operation was founded by Gary Grant and wife Catherine in 1981 and remains an independent family-owned business to this day.
Gary Grant found employment in the 1970s at a local bike shop in Amersham, his hometown. His natural talent for buying and selling flourished when he recognised a new craze for customised skateboards, so he started selling skateboard accessories while he was still working at the bike shop. The owner of the bike shop was suitably unimpressed that the majority of calls into the store were for Gary and so Gary was let go, set free to start up on his own.
In 1979 Gary married Catherine and they bought a home in Amersham that doubled as a warehouse for their skateboard venture. When Gary recalls this time in his life, he remembers how the ceilings were creaking under the weight of the stock in their house and some of the upstairs doors wouldn't quite close properly.
The Entertainer began when Gary and Catherine took over the Pram and Toy Bar in May 1981. Catherine was also a full-time Nurse when the first store opened. The previous owner didn't much like children and Gary and Catherine saw an opportunity to make the shop into somewhere children and adults alike would come and visit, have fun, find something to 'Entertain' their time and want to come back again and again.
As the potential and possibility for expansion became real, Gary took on his first employees. (one of whom still works for the business today heading up the New Store Development Team). A second branch then opened in Beaconsfield, in June 1985. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Entertainer believes it offers a unique retail business – like a signature that cannot be copied. Its vision is for childhood to be filled with wonder. The company's mission is to be the Best-Loved Toyshop - one child, one community at a time. The Company loves creating memories and delivering outstanding service.
The Entertainer is not just a massive retail success story – it also tithes 10% of its operating profit to charity and inspires both its customers and staff to also make a significant difference through a thoughtful charitable programme.
From a Payroll Giving Scheme, 50% of its employees give to charity seeing more than £14,500 (CAD 24,000) given to over 180 charities each month. Over 650,000 (CAD 1 Million) has been raised through this scheme since it was launched.
Also launched around the same time, was Pennies, an instore digital charity box where customers opt to round up their payment for purchases by the odd pennies. This scheme alone has seen donations of over £2million (CAD 3.3 Million) to 9 children's hospitals during the seven years it has been running.
The company is also a huge supporter of The Toy Trust which supports charities that give the gift of play.
It also encourages customers to use its stores as drop off locations for the Operation Christmas Child campaign that saw the store accept and handle the safe delivery of over 157,000 shoe boxes 2016.
Through all its charitable efforts, The Entertainer has been responsible for donations of over £1.4 Million (CAD 2.3 Million) in the 2016/2017 financial year and is on track to surpass this figure during the current one.
SOURCE Toys "R" Us (Canada) Ltd.
For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Travon Smith, Torchia Communications, (416) 341-9929 x222, [email protected]