Hamleys has marked its entry into the Japanese retail market with the opening of two large, theme park-style outlets.
Business development consultancy firm Intralink brokered a partnership for the iconic British toy retailer with Japanese video games firm Bandai Namco Amusement to form a £300 million venture.
The first two stores of that venture are located in Yokohama City near Tokyo, which opened today, and in Fukuoka, western Japan, which will open tomorrow.
The stores will bring together Hamleys’ and Bandai Namco’s respective retail and entertainment expertise and will feature entertainers, playground attractions including merry-go-rounds, games corners and infant play spaces.
The Yokohama store is 32,300sq ft while the Fukuoka store will be 58100sq ft, with around 6000 products on sale.
The partnership is aiming for four million visitors to each store in the first year.
Hamleys plans to open a total of 30 stores in Japan over the next five years through its Bandai Namco partnership, which it said would secure 1000 UK jobs and over 3600 in Japan.
“Japan represents an exciting and important market and is key to Hamleys’ continued international growth strategy,” Chief executive Ralph Cunningham said.
“We look forward to bringing smiles to the faces of children and families all over Japan and delivering the unique Hamleys in-store experience to this fantastic market.”