Hamleys, the world’s oldest toy retailer and a much-loved British icon, has opened its first-ever exclusive store in Italy with franchisee GIOCHI PREZIOSI SPA (GP), a prominent player in the Italian toy manufacturing and distribution industry. Under the terms of the franchise agreement, GP has acquired the exclusive rights to operate Hamleys stores across Italy, paving the way for flagship Hamleys locations in Italy’s most iconic cities and promising enchanting experiences for families across the country.
Located in the heart of Milan, on the famous Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a well-known bustling thoroughfare bordering the historic cathedrals Piazza del Duomo and Piazza San Babila. This store 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 Limited (RBL) in 2019. With a current footprint of 191 stores across 15 countries, Hamley’s heart remains firmly with the world-famous Regent Street Store, which remains one of the most visited destinations in the UK. Hamleys continues to expand into newer markets, most recently the Balkans, with its first store in Albania and Kosovo, and is expanding its reach in existing territories such as India and the Middle East with a store in Qatar.
“The best toy store in the world is all set to bring its theatrical magic to Italy! We are excited to spread smiles with our expansion and are proud to partner with the Giochi Preziosi Group (GP Group). Guided by our unique vision: creating memories through the joy of play, we look forward to becoming a centerpiece store in the popular shopping and tourist destination of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. The launch of the new store fits perfectly with a refreshed store design concept, and we are keen to create new, unparalleled experiences for children and families,” said Sumeet Yadav, CEO of Hamleys Global.
The flagship store in Milan covers an area of 13,00 m² and spans two levels. The vibrant red and white interior serves as a vivid image of Hamleys’ enchanting universe. Capturing the brand’s essence of fun, magic and theater, the new store offers a variety of engaging, play-centric experiences, including the iconic carousel and carefully curated brand sections that spotlight the most beloved toy brands such as Lego, Nerf and Barbie to stand. The store also stocks an extensive range of toys across all play categories for children, with a healthy mix of Hamleys’ own product line and branded items from suppliers.
“Giochi Preziosi is delighted to have entered into the exclusive franchise agreement with the iconic Hamleys brand and is very excited about the launch of the first store in Milan. He looks forward to the upcoming projects and continuing the Retail Development Plan in Milan. the country in the coming years,” says Enrico Preziosi, founder of Giochi Preziosi Group.
The grand inauguration of Hamleys Milan is scheduled for today, September 14, and will be marked by a festive parade in front of the store, culminating in a bell changing ceremony. The store’s doors will open to the public on the same day, inviting everyone to experience the magic of Hamleys.