The anticipated sale of renowned London toy store Hamleys has finally been confirmed.
Chinese footwear seller C.Banner International agreed to a price of £100m to purchase the store from Ludendo, the French toy store operator that has owned Hamleys since 2012.
For C.Banner, the acquisition marks the first major branch out from its home market, as well as its previous focus on the footwear industry. The company said that it has plans to expand Hamleys’ products into other department stores, and is in talks with House of Fraser, which was recently purchased by C. Banner’s strategic partner Sanpower Group.
Hamleys expanded its international portfolio in recent years. It now has 50 outlets around the world as well as an increasing presence online. CEO Gudjon Reynisson noted that its international prospects remained strong, with the possibility of having over 100 international stores in the near future. C.Banner stated that its purchase of the brand is but part one of its strategy for international expansion and business diversification.
Hamleys was originally founded in 1760 by William Hamley, under the name ‘Noah’s Ark’. It was not until 1881 that the company opened the flagship store in Regent Street that has been open for business until now. The world’s largest toy store, Hamleys has a business area of 50,000sq ft over seven storeys.