Hamleys grows 3-fold in India

Hamleys grows 3-fold in India

Hamleys grows 3-fold in India

Toy retailer Hamleys, which began its operation in 2010 in India, has grown three times with focus on experiential shopping, a top executive said.

Reliance Lifestyle Holdings collaborated with 255-year-old UK-based brand Hamleys, which marked the brand’s foray into the Indian market with the opening of its first store in India at the High Street Phoenix Mall, Mumbai, in 2010.

“If you visit a departmental store, you will see a stack of clothes and other things with sales persons running around. We have brought differentiation by engaging with our customers by explaining product features. We encourage more engagement with our prospective buyers and let them play with what they are planning to buy. Once a child plays with a toy, the chances of transaction happening are higher,” Hamleys Business Head Karandeep Singh told DH.

The company is present in 10 cities with 22 stores across India and operates through company owned and operated stores.

“The new store at 1 MG Road Mall is the 22nd one. Worldwide, the company has 80 stores, and out of which 22 of them are in India. India tops in the number of stores across the world,” said Singh. The new  store is about 5,000 sq feet and employs 30 staffers.

On expansion plans, Singh said, “Recently, we have opened a store in Indore, next will be in Coimbatore, Ludhiana and Chandigarh. Malls are becoming the ideal weekend destinations for families and getting the right spot and the right mall is very crucial for us.”

Singh said the retail toy selling is a challenging business. “Children change their tastes every day. What they liked yesterday may not be their favourite tomorrow. In fashion, whatever you showcase at fashion shows become a trend. We keep a watch on upcoming children’s movies and see what product can be built around it,” he said.

He said the company doesn’t own any manufacturing facility in India. “Around 30% of toys are Hamleys brand and the rest are outsourced. Close to 50-60% are sourced locally and the rest sourced globally. Many products come from Germany and the UK,” Singh added.

Hamleys targets right from pre-school to 12-year-old kids. When asked about the relevance of toys when kids are prefering electronic gadgets, Singh said, “Nothing replaces a physical toy.”

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