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Toy retailer Hamleys opens its flagship store in Italy

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Covering an expanse of 13,300 sq. ft., the flagship Milan store located at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II spans two levels

Mumbai: Reliance Brands Ltd. (RBL) owned global toy retail chain Hamleys opened its first exclusive retail store in Italy with franchisee Giochi Preziosi S.P.A (GP), a prominent player in Italy’s toy manufacturing and distribution industry, Hamleys announced in a press release on Thursday. Covering an expanse of 13,300 sq. ft., the flagship Milan store located at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II spans two levels. The store launch will be followed by the launch of a flagship store in Rome.

Under the terms of the franchise agreement, GP has secured the exclusive rights to operate Hamleys stores throughout Italy, paving the way for flagship Hamleys locations in Italy’s most iconic cities.

“Guided by our singular vision: crafting memories through the joy of play, we are looking forward to becoming a centrepiece store in the popular shopping and tourist destination of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan,” said Sumeet Yadav, chief executive officer, Hamleys Global.

The store boasts an extensive assortment of toys across all kids play categories with a mix of Hamleys’ propriety line and vendor-branded merchandise.

Hamleys was founded in 1760 by William Hamley and acquired by Reliance Brands Limited (RBL) in 2019. Currently, with a footprint of 191 stores, the brand is spread across 15 countries. Hamleys continues to expand into newer markets, most recently the Balkans, with its first store in Albania and Kosovo, and further its reach in existing territories like India and the Middle East with a store in Qatar.

In July 2019, RBL marked its first international foray by acquiring Hamleys‘ global operations. RBL has been operating Hamleys’ India franchisee stores since 2010.

The GP Group was founded in 1978 by Enrico Preziosi as a wholesale distributor of traditional toys. It is made up of more than 30 legal entities and operates in 6 European countries, in addition to Turkey and Mexico, through its subsidiaries. The group serves the rest of the world via local distributors. GP Group currently holds franchising agreements with around 400 Italian toy stores operating under the own trademark “Giocheria” and during the last two years, in the context of a development retail business project, has opened 5 direct stores under the trademark “Giochi Preziosi” and “Giocheria” in some of the main Italian cities.

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