Toy retailer The Entertainer is to expand its multichannel offer by introducing collect in-store and home delivery services.

The order online and collect in stores and home delivery for store purchases options follow the retailer opening a second distribution centre last year dedicated to serving its online business.

The Entertainer head of IT Ian Pulsford said its Manhattan Associates warehouse management system allows the distribution centre to identify store orders, batch them and then dispatch them quickly. The retailer does not yet have the systems in place to reserve products ordered online from store stock.

Pulsford said other technology projects this year designed to improve its multichannel service include adding extra functionality to hand-held devices in stores and introducing a more flexible system for in-store price ticketing, promotion handling and point-of-sale document production.

The retailer expanded its online range from 700 to 2,000 items in time for last Christmas, compared with around 2,500 SKUs carried in each store. It reported an 80 per cent increase in sales through direct channels throughout last year.

Over the peak early December period sales rose 300 per cent. Pulsford said the distribution centre and warehouse system will allow it to cope with similar growth this year.