Just Play launches Early Learning Centre development platform on its Amazon Brand store

The award-winning UK preschool brand, Early Learning Centre is embarking on a new initiative for the US market with the launch of a raft of new products and concepts exclusively through its Amazon brand store.

The project is being overseen by the brand’s US distributor and licensor, Just Play and will see new initiatives offering developmental content and experiences for families with children launch to the new Learning Activity Centre, part of Early Learning Centre’s Amazon brand store.

The platform will feature extensive resources for parents looking to support their child’s learning an development, including award-winning products, engaging curriculum-driven activities, and expert advice.

To design the Learning Activity Centre, Just Play has worked with specialists to produce a selection of activities that supplement children’s learning across core categories such as physical development, mathematics, personal, social, and emotional development, and communication, language, and literacy. The portal will feature development icons that will help parents navigate and choose products that best support their child.

The platform will draw on Early Learning Centre’s 50 year heritage in creating innovative preschool toys. The Early Learning Centre line, presented by Just Play on Amazon, has been designed to celebrate and expand that heritage with learning toys that tap into key developmental stages.

“Children are at the heart of everything we do,” said David Martin, CEO of Early Learning Centre. “Using our ‘knowledge of developmental play,’ we thoughtfully design unique and timeless preschool toys for all ages and stages that can be passed down from generation to generation.”

Geoffrey Greenberg, co-president of Just Play, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Early Learning Centre on the creation of the Learning Activity Centre on Amazon, which we expect will be a valuable tool for parents and caregivers as they search for products and activities that are the best fit for their children.”

Just Play aims to unveil an Ambassador Program this fall to coincide with the launch of several new Early Learning Centre preschool toys that encourage playful exploration of skills including counting, spelling and color recognition for children from 18 months to 5 years old.

Early Learning Centre partners with Poetic Brands for baby, children’s wear and accessories

The Early Learning Centre brand is expanding into baby, children’s wear and accessories, thanks to a new licensing partnership with the clothing specialist, Poetic Brands. The partnership has been brokered by the Early Learning Centre’s licensing agency, Riverside Brands.

The new ELC collection will incorporate baby and children’s wear products, including baby layette fashion, as well as accessories such as baby changing bags and slings in the baby collection. In the children’s category, Poetic Brands will launch children’s daywear, as well as accessories including luggage, beach towels and bags, and flip flops.

Having traded in a number of guises since 1974, the Early Learning Centre has become a destination retailer for expectant mothers, new parents and beyond. Currently owned by The Entertainer, ELC operates both online and within The Entertainer stores with a vision to support parents with their child’s early years learning and development through play.

Anne Bradford, director, Poetic Brands, said: “When we heard about the opportunity of establishing ELC as an apparel collection, we jumped at the chance to come on board and work with Ash [founder of Riverside Brands] and The Entertainer on this project.

“In the initial year of setting up the business it has been so important to us to look for new opportunities to the market and the ELC brand absolutely ticks this box. Our team has a huge amount of experience across both baby and toddler and they are looking forward to creating a unique apparel collection at retail.”

Ashley Holman, MD, Riverside Brands, added: “We have had a fantastic initial response to the Early Learning Centre licensing opportunity since announcing it a few months ago and it is really exciting to be partnering with Poetic Brands, as they really understood the vision we have for the brand from the outset. We are confident this will be the start of a very successful partnership for all involved.”

The Entertainer partners with Riverside Brands for ELC brand extension programme

The UK’s family owned high street toy retailer, The Entertainer has partnered with Riverside Brands to lead its brand extension strategy for Early Learning Centre.

Under the new partnership, both the Happyland and core ELC brand will look to build out wider brand extensions into categories such as apparel, nightwear, health & beauty, publishing, nursery and experiences.

It’s been billed as ‘an exciting partnership for all involved as The Entertainer focuses on growing the Early Learning Centre brand since its acquisition in February 2019’. The partnership also marks a significant move for a retailer into the licensing, highlighting the commitment of the group to support the ELC brand during highly tumultuous times for UK retail.

Stuart Grant, global sourcing officer at The Entertainer, said: “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Riverside Brands on this exciting opportunity for the Early Learning Centre brand. With such a strong heritage as an iconic part of early years development we are confident there is more opportunity for the brand to be an even bigger part of children’s early years by giving them greater access to the characters through carefully selected brand extensions.

“We are confident that Riverside Brands is the right partner to achieve this in a way that protects the brand by securing opportunities to compliment the existing brand heritage.”

Ashley Holman, managing director of Riverside Brands, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with The Entertainer on this exciting opportunity for Early Learning Centre. ELC has been a much-loved brand for nearly 50 years and we’re looking forward to making its iconic characters more accessible through brand extensions into areas such as apparel and bedding.

“Children love these characters, they’re an important part of their early years and we’re looking forward to making them available in categories which will compliment the core toy ranges.”