Toy specialist retailer Hamleys has been bought by French toy retailer Groupe Ludendo, it has been announced today.
In 2009, Hamleys, which was founded in 1760, was taken over by Icelandic Bank Landsbanki and it has now been acquired by the European retailer, which also has operations in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Spain among others, for an undisclosed sum.
Based on London’s Regent’s Street, the iconic store will further boost the group’s flourishing portfolio, currently standing at over 300 despite the difficult climate causing parents to diminish non-essential spend.
Commenting on the sale, Jean-Michel Grunberg, Chairman of Ludendo said that the group had the “utmost respect for the Hamleys brand and heritage”, adding: “We are delighted to be acquiring Hamleys today, which is one of the most respected toy retailers in the world.
“This deal fits with our strategy to grow our business through the acquisition of well-established brands with global dimensions. Hamleys will give us the platform to accelerate our international development starting with the UK and into new markets.”
Groupe Ludendo aims to double its store portfolio within four years and is focused on expanding its reach in the UK, Asia and Middle East, a move welcomed by the team at the London retailer.
“The management team is very supportive of this transaction and we look forward to becoming part of this well established family business,” Hamleys CEO Gudjon Reynisson said.
“Groupe Ludendo is a strong partner for Hamleys, and we look forward to working with them on taking the fun, entertainment and theatre of Hamleys to new levels.
“Hamleys has a unique brand and we have been extremely pleased with the success in how this reputation has developed internationally through store openings worldwide.
“We have big plans for the future and share both Groupe Ludendo´s ambitions for growth and their values.”