The Early Learning Centre is a toy retail store with several locations spread out through the United Kingdom. This company is a subsidiary of Mothercare PLC, which owns a total of 221 toy stores through the U.K. along with several stores throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Far East (Roberts par. 3). Early Learning Centre also provides access to its products through online purchasing seeking to compete against other international companies such as Toys R’ Us, UK’s Toymaster, Play.com and UK toy giant Argos Company. The toy market primarily encompasses these major store chains but also includes several smaller locale stores through the United Kingdom. Overall, the Early Learning Centre maintains a current market share of roughly 24% of the market behind Toys R’ Us and Argos with a combined market share of 56% (Roberts par. 3 ). Despite having only 73 stores throughout the United Kingdom, Toys R’ Us has been voted the #1 toy store in the United Kingdom (“Toys R Us” 1).
Consumer behaviour tends to vary in the United Kingdom for the purchasing of toys. Early Learning Centre saw a drastic drop in its in-store sales also seeing a decrease in the Mothercare stock value from 2011 – 2012 (“Mothercare Fact Sheet” 1). Primarily, consumer behaviour trends to purchase stores online or in “name brand” stores that both children and adults recognize. Early Learning Centre’s target market parents with young children between the ages of 3-10. The company engages in advertising strategies to appeal to both parents and children.
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