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Reliance-owned Hamleys debuts in Italy

New Delhi: Toy retailer Hamleys, owned by Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd., has inaugurated its first retail store in Italy with franchisee Giochi Preziosi S.P.A (GP), a prominent player in the European country’s toy manufacturing and distribution industry..

Under the terms of the franchise agreement, GP has secured the exclusive rights to operate Hamleys stores throughout Italy, Reliance Brands Ltd. (RBL), that acquired the British toy retailer in 2019, said in a statement on Thursday

Hamleys has made its debut in Italy with a store in Milan at the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. This will be soon followed by a flagship store in Rome.

Hamleys was founded in 1760 by William Hamley. Currently, the chain has 191 stores in 15 countries countries such as the UK, India, United Arab Emirates, China, Malaysia, and Mexico, among others.

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 Middle East with a store in Qatar.

“We are excited to spread smiles with our expansion and are proud to partner with the Giochi Preziosi Group (GP Group). Guided by our singular vision: crafting memories through the joy of play, we are looking forward to becoming a centerpiece store in the popular shopping and tourist destination of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. The new store launch is timed perfectly with a refreshed store design concept, and we’re eager to weave new unparalleled experiences for children and families,” said Sumeet Yadav, CEO Hamleys Global.

The retailer sells toy brands such as Lego, Nerf, and Barbie.

“Giochi Preziosi is extremely delighted with the conclusion of the exclusive franchising agreement with the iconic Hamleys brand and is very excited with the launch of the first store in Milan and looking forward to the upcoming projects lined up and to continue with the Retail development plan in the Country over the years ahead,” said Enrico Preziosi, founder, Giochi Preziosi Group.

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

RBL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd. and began operations in 2007 with a mandate to launch and build global brands in luxury to premium segments across fashion and lifestyle. It has partnered several large global brands to launch their retail operations in India. In India, its retail portfolio consists of brands such as Armani Exchange, Bottega Veneta, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Canali, Coach, Diesel, Dune, Kate Spade, La Martina, Lenscrafters, Manish Malhotra, Michael Kors, among several others.

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Updated: 14 Sep 2023, 04:52 PM IST

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