Hamleys, the world’s oldest toy retailer and a beloved British icon, has inaugurated its very first exclusive retail store in Italy with franchisee Giochi Preziosi S.P.A.
Giochi Preziosi is a prominent player in Italy’s toy manufacturing and distribution industry and under the terms of the franchise agreement, has secured the exclusive rights to operate Hamleys stores throughout Italy, paving the way for flagship Hamleys locations in Italy’s most iconic cities.
The store is situated in the heart of Milan at the renowned Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a well-known bustling thoroughfare adjacent to the historic cathedrals of Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Babila. The opening will soon be followed by the grand launch of a flagship store in Rome.
Hamleys was founded in 1760 by William Hamley and acquired by Reliance Brands in 2019. Currently with a footprint of 191 stores spread across 15 countries, Hamleys’ heart stays firmly at its world-famous Regent Street Store that continues to be one of the most visited destinations in United Kingdom. Hamleys continues to expand into newer markets, most recently the Balkans, with its first store in Albania and Kosovo, and is furthering its reach in existing territories such as the Middle East with a store in Qatar.
“The finest toy shop in the world is all set to bring its theatrical magic to Italy,” said Sumeet Yadav, CEO Hamleys Global. “We are excited to spread smiles with our expansion and are proud to partner with the Giochi Preziosi Group. Guided by our singular vision of crafting memories through the joy of play, we are looking forward to becoming a centrepiece 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.”
Covering an expanse of 13,300 sq ft, the flagship Milan store spans two levels with a vibrant red and white interior. Capturing the brand’s essence of fun, magic and theater, the new store offers several engaging experiences, with play at its heart, including the the iconic carousel and meticulously curated brand sections spotlighting brands like Lego, Nerf and Barbie. The store boasts an extensive assortment of toys across all categories with a healthy mix of Hamleys’ propriety line and vendor branded merchandise.
Enrico Preziosi, founder of Giochi Preziosi Group, commented: “Giochi Preziosi is 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. We are also looking forward to continuing with the retail development plan in the country over the years ahead.”
The grand inauguration of Hamleys Milan took place on the 14th September, marked by a celebratory parade in front of the store, culminating in a bell-exchange ceremony. The doors to the store swung open to the public on the same day, inviting all to experience the Hamleys magic.