Gary Grant is the owner and founder of the largest independent toy store in the UK. He started his first store with his wife back in 1981, and business has been growing steadily ever since. This year Gary surprised international media by boldly stating he doesn't plan to sell for this year's Christmas. That is because he wants to follow Christian ethics and make sure his 1,700 employees have enough free time in order to be with their families.
All business owners know that Christmas is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Many people are told that money shouldn't be a concern on this special day, which is why a lot of shops make the bulk of their profits in this period of the year.
Gary Grant is the owner of "The Entertainer," a shop that specialized in the sale of kids toys and entertainment items. His decision to close all 149 branches of his store during Christmas shocked almost all of his competitors and journalists that were covering his story.
The reason why Gary decided to close his store and lose millions of dollars in potential revenue is that he likes to follow Christian tradition and work his business according to the ethics and moral he was raised with.
The Entertainer employs about 1,700 different staff member. All of them are going to get a day off during Christmas, which was probably a very pleasant surprise for the workers. Many of the employees will spend their day off observing the Sabbath.
The expected loss of potential revenue for closing 149 stores for the full duration of Christmas is about $3.1 million. Although The Entertainer is a rich and successful company, that is still a lot of revenue to miss out on.
This is not Gary's first time to stop working on a Sunday. According to the successful entrepreneur, he never trades on a Sunday. He said, "We don't trade on Sundays - any Sundays. Keeping the Sabbath holy is one of the Ten Commandments."
Another reason why Gary is a big believer in keeping the Sabbath holy is that it helps bring people closer to their families. He said, ""As a Christian, I believe in families. For our staff, the fact they have a day off with the family on a Sunday is really important."
According to sales statistics, The Entertainer is Britain's largest independent toy retailer. Gary founded his first store together with his wife, Catherine, back in 1981 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Ever since the first store was opened, business has been growing steadily.
Ever since Gary opened his first store, he grew his business year by year, eventually opening his 149th store. Today the complete company makes a profit of $12 million on sales totaling $200 million. That is about 1/5th of a billion in toy sales.
The Entertain doesn't just reflect Gary's Christian values by not working on Sundays and during Christmas. The store also makes sure to do several other things that are required by Christian tradition - such as donating a part of the revenue.
One of the important things Gary's business does in order to follow Christian tradition is to donate 10 percent of all of its profits to different charities. That is a great way to help out and make the world a better place to live in.
Another practice that some readers might find weird is that The Entertainer doesn't sell any merchandise that could be deemed occult or hinting at the supernatural - such as Halloween costumes or even more weirdly, Harry Potter-based merchandise and products.
Given how wildly successful Gary's business is, he obviously understands the losses he is going to have by not working this Christmas. It is just that he is such a firm believer in his principles, that not even millions of dollars in revenue can change his mind.
According to Gary, the toy industry is heavily reliant on Christmas shopping. He said, "The toy industry is so reliant on Christmas: if you didn't have Christmas you wouldn't have a toy industry." That statement shows how dedicated he is to his principles.
Later in the interview, Gary explains the fine line one must take in running a business. He said, ""So there is a fine line between running a viable business that gets caught up in the commerciality of the season, but on the other hand not losing the real meaning of Christmas."