The iconic British toy retailer, Hamleys, has just changed hands again, with India’s Reliance Brands Limited being the current owners. The Mukesh Ambani led company bought the toy store from Chinese firm Banner International which had acquired it back in 2015.
With the deal, Reliance Brands Limited will have under its control all of Hamleys’ worldwide assets, which includes 167 stores spread over 18 countries. Reliance has already been operating 88 Hamleys stores in 29 cities in India. Hamleys started business back in 1760, making it the world’s oldest toy retailer. The company still run its flagship store in Regent Street in London which has been operational since 1881.
However, it isn’t business as usual at Hamleys given the £9.2m loss it reported last year. The company attributed that to the market complexities brought about by Brexit for the loss, together with the threat of terrorism that society has been suffering from. It remains to be seen if a change of hands can bring back the company’s fortunes.
Reliance Brands Limited said they are really excited with the acquisition claiming it to be something that they have really been looking forward to for some time.