World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Early Learning Centre

Early Learning Centre
Public limited company
Industry Toys
Headquarters Watford, England
Number of locations
229
Products Educational toys
Parent Mothercare
Website .uk.co.elcwww

The Early Learning Centre is a British chain of shops selling toys for very young children.

Contents

  • History 1
    • Takeovers 1.1
  • Product range 2
  • Other meanings of the word 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

History

Early Learning Centre in Harrogate, North Yorkshire (2013)

Originally set up as a mail order company in 1974 and based near Swindon, by 1980 it had ten shops, and it has grown to include 215 shops in the United Kingdom, and over 80 in 19 other countries including Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Canada and Australia. In addition, their toys are available in some Debenhams, Boots & Sainsbury's stores.

Since 2001, the company also sells their products via their website. In the 1980s, ELC opened a number of "nursery stores" which sold equipment such as pushchairs and cots. Until 1991, the chain also had stores in the United States. Over 80% of products sold are own brand, being designed at a research centre in Hong Kong.

Takeovers

In May 1985, John Menzies rescued Early Learning Centre.[1] Sales struggled in the late 1990s. After some years, the company's board of directors led by Mike France, bought the company back in October 2001 for £30M, being backed by 3i, before selling it to Tim Waterstone (who founded Waterstones bookstores) under the name Eagle Retail Investments, for £62M in April 2004, and he joined it with his Daisy & Tom chain of shops within the "Chelsea Stores Group".

In June 2007, Early Learning Centre was purchased by Mothercare for £85M, from Chelsea Stores Holdings. Mothercare have continued to expand the high street presence of ELC by opening additional stores; mainly as concessions within over 100 Mothercare stores.

Product range

They are known for selling products which use wood such as plywood and Chinese maple. Toys are designed to be primarily about play, with a focus on educational and developmental aspects. Early Learning Centre playtest their toys to check they can withstand the expected knocks and bumps and employ various techniques into their manufacturing process such as ultrasonic welding and use of plastics.

Other meanings of the word

In Australia & New Zealand, an early learning centre (often abbreviated to ELC) can mean a preschool or kindergarten.

References

  1. ^ John Menzies history - see 1985 section

External links

  • ELC official site
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.