On December 23, 257-year-old British toy retailer Hamleys, opened its largest store worldwide in Beijing, the third one so far in China. An exclusive Hamleys Toy Parade was also held to celebrate the opening, timed to coincide with the start of Christmas festivities.
Located in Beijing’s Wangfujing area that contains the most famous shopping streets in China, where is similar to Oxford Street in London. The 10,700 sqm store covers five floors with thousands of items on display. From traditional toys to high-tech entertainment and educational games for children of all ages, the store boasts a range of entertainment facilities as well.
Guided by Hamleys principal slogan ‘Bring Toys to Life’, Hamleys Beijing is poised to go beyond the concept of a traditional Toy Store, establishing itself as a Lifestyle Centre Store.
The grand opening was witnessed by the British ambassador — Barbara Woodward, Chairman of Sanpower Group — Yafei Yuan, Chairman of C.BANNER INTERNATIONAL Holdings Limited–Yixi Chen and Chairman of Wangfujing — Yi Liu, along with hundreds of Hamleys fans gathering together from all parts of Beijing and even China.
Hamleys Beijing: World’s Biggest Hamleys Store
Inside the store, the design and layout emulates Hamleys stores in the UK to create the same entertaining and engaging experience to its customers. It was also designed and built in an eco-friendly way to reduce emissions.
The spacious Hamleys Beijing is expected to attract and serve thousands of customers every day in store. It also aims to create an immersive shopping experience featuring high quality products, encouraging wise consumption and providing one-stop convenience, (by means of Hamleys premium platforms, strong capital, and original specialization.)
The giant flagship store is a new highlight of the Wangfujing Department Store, it also sets a milestone for developing a children’s shopping street in the Wangfujing area.
Kids’ Dreamlike Toy Kingdom
The Beijing flagship store targets mid to high-earning consumers. It offers a bunch of services and products of over 200 brands covering toys, maternal and infant products, children entertainment, interactive service, education, clothing, daily necessities, culture and catering.
Believing in quality first, Hamleys Beijing provides many world-renowned toy brands, such as Peppa Pig, HAPE, Disney and Lego alongside its own signature Hamleys teddy bears. The 240sqm Lego area showcases China’s largest Lego exhibition.
Additionally, Hamleys brand strives to create the highest standard of immersive entertainment. There are various entertainment facilities located from the first to the fifth floor, offering interactive games and vivid settings for children of different ages, such as a carousel, ocean world area, VR viewing experience and NERF shooting.
New Opportunity in China
The grand expansion of the heritage toy retailer in China follows the end of China’s one-child policy and growing consumption for infant and mother care and toy industries.
According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), there were 17.86 million births 2016 last year, which was a 7.6 per cent increase in childbirth from 2015. China is predicted by NHFPC experts to have 17 to 20 million childbirths every year by 2020.
Market research company, Euromonitor, also revealed that the total retail sales of toys and games in China have soared from RMB89.7 billion in 2011 to RMB232.17 billion in 2016, boasting an average annual growth rate of 20.9 per cent.
London’s iconic Hamleys toy retailer seized upon this opportunity. Hamleys entered the Chinese market in 2015, opening a 7,000 sqm flagship shop in Nanjing.
In 2016 the second Hamleys store was opened in Xuzhou with an area of 10,000 sqm. Hamleys Xuzhou was the largest Hamleys store among all 114 stores in the world, while, in just 3 months, the record was surpassed by the new Wangfujing store in Beijing.
Currently Hamleys has expanded its brand to 25 countries including China, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, and India.
History of Hamleys
Founded by William Hamley in 1760, Hamleys is now the oldest toy brand in the UK with a glorious history, well-known brand concept, high quality toys and unique parades. As a veritable dreamlike toy Kingdom for kids and adults, Hamleys has also become one of the most popular landmarks in London since 1837 and a favorite brand to Her Majesty and the Royal family.
In 2015 Hamleys welcomed its new era by landing in China. It has pledged to preserve Hamleys’ rich heritage and success, by maintaining a powerful brand with continuing creativity, thoughtful services and high quality products.
Hamleys branches in Nanjing, Xuzhou and Beijing, this is a tick off 3 of the 100 stores planned to open in China. Hamleys China will continue focus on offering Chinese customers diverse products and creative service in the international standard.