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Mukesh Ambani plans Hamleys expansion despite the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

The expansion plans includes opening new stores and the leading toy retailer is in the final stages of designing the refurbishment plan of its seven-floor flagship store on London’s Regent Street.

The toy retailing company also wants to open pop-up stores in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, England, and expand into Western Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Canada.

August 27, 2020

Reliance Brands-owned Hamleys is planning to refurbish its landmark London shop in Regent Street selling despite a crisis in toy retailing that’s been deepened by the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to that, the toy retailing giant is also aspiring to expand their presence in the market, which could include opening new stores.

Far from being imprudent, the expansion is a sign of confidence in the brand and strategy, said Sumeet Yadav, chief executive officer for global retail business at Reliance Brands. The subsidiary of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. bought the storied brand a year ago for about 70 million pounds (USD 92 million).

“It has been quite an eventful journey,” Yadav said in an interview, but “we are not holding back making long-term investments.” The new website will be re-launched by the end of 2020, building on digital sales that Yadav said are “through the roof.”

Started in 1760 by William Hamley, Hamleys has 179 stores in 16 countries. Reliance Brands believes it has the best shot of succeeding to run and operate the Hamleys franchise in India for the past decade as it has a close affinity with the brand.

Yadav described the sum of the investment as significant and worthy of a brand that is 260 years old. “The Hamleys experience cannot be diluted,” he said.

The retailer is in the final stages of designs for a refurbishment of the seven-floor store on London’s Regent Street. Furthermore, the company also wants to start pop-up concessions and stores in Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, England, and expand into Western Europe, Australia, the U.S. and Canada.

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