Toy chain The Entertainer has appointed former Woolworths head of retail operations Nick Hargreaves to the same position.

The Entertainer managing director Gary Grant said: “Having worked for Woolworths a big proportion of the job Nick did was toys, so he’s bringing all that knowledge with him.

“We want to unify standards between branches and Nick will enable us to grow by putting scalable policies and procedures in place.”

Grant said The Entertainer needed external input if the chain is to grow. In the past, the 28-year-old retailer has had a tradition of promoting from within.

He said: “We’ve got an appetite for growing the business over the next five years so we need changes if we are going to be 50 per cent, or 100 per cent bigger.”

Another recent external appointment was Sue Dorkin, who joined as IT and supply chain director in June last year. She worked at the Early Learning Centre previously.

Grant said sales are “buoyant” and that there are “lots of property opportunities”. He expects to open between two and five stores this year.

He said The Entertainer’s objective in the past year has been to consolidate the business in order to “create a platform for fast expansion in 2010”.