Early Learning Centre Bluewater to Close Down Permanently

Exterior of Early Learning Centre shop in Bluewater shopping centre

The Early Learning Centre toy shop in Bluewater will close down in the new year.

The closure will be permanent, however, a selection of ELC toys will be available in the Mothercare store on the ground floor.

Primark will take over the lease, opening for the first time in Bluewater shopping centre in 2019.

A sale began before Christmas, this will soon become a closing down sale. A number of stores in the south-east have sent some of their unsold surplus stock to Bluewater to take advantage of the forthcoming clearance sale.

Bluewater’s ELC is the busiest branch of the specialist toy retailer, however, in the years since the company was taken over by Mothercare, sales have declined and the store has operated at a loss for a number of years.

Over ten years ago, its annual takings were almost £4 million (gross) which was enough for a slim profit, ten years of Mothercare ownership has seen sales decline to around £2.5 million.

When Mothercare bought ELC in 2007, there were over 200 shops in the chain, once the Bluewater branch closes, only Harrogate, Plymouth and Worthing remain.

Early Learning Centre also continues to trade with its own e-commerce website.

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