On 23 December, 257-year-old British Toy retailer, Hamleys opens its largest store worldwide in Beijing, the third one so far in China. An exclusive Hamleys Toy Parade is also held to celebrate the opening, timed to coincide with the start of Christmas festivities.
It is located in Beijing’s Wangfujing area that contains the most famous shopping streets in China, where is similar to Oxford Street in London. The 10,700sqm store covers 5 floors with thousands of items on display. From traditional toys to high-tech entertainment and educational games for children of all ages, the store boasts a range of entertainment facilities as well.
Guided by the brand’s principal slogan ‘Bring Toys to Life‘, the Beijing store is poised to go beyond the concept of a traditional Toy Store, establishing itself as a Lifestyle Centre Store.
The grand opening is witnessed by the British ambassador, Barbara Woodward, Chairman of Sanpower Group, Yafei Yuan, Chairman of C.BANNER INTERNATIONAL Holdings Limited, Yixi Chen and Chairman of Wangfujing, Yi Liu, along with hundreds of fans gathering together from all parts of Beijing and even China.
Hamleys Beijing: World’s Biggest Brand Store
Inside the store, the design and layout emulates the brand’s stores in the UK to create the same entertaining and engaging experience to its customers. It was also designed and built in an eco-friendly way to reduce emissions.
The spacious Beijing store is expected to attract and serve thousands of customers every day in store. It also aims to create an immersive shopping experience featuring high-quality products, encouraging wise consumption and providing one-stop convenience.
The giant flagship store is a new highlight of the Wangfujing Department Store, it also sets a milestone for developing a children’s shopping street in the Wangfujing area.
New opportunity in China
The grand expansion of the heritage toy retailer in China follows the end of China’s one-child policy and growing consumption for infant and mother care and toy industries.
According to China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), there were 17.86 million births 2016 last year, which was a 7.6% increase in childbirth from 2015. China is predicted by NHFPC experts to have 17 to 20 million childbirths every year by 2020.
Market research company, Euromonitor, also revealed that the total retail sales of toys and games in China have soared from RMB89.7 billion/£10.2 billion in 2011 to RMB232.17 billion/£26.4 billion in 2016, boasting an average annual growth rate of 20.9%.
The brand’s iconic London toy retailer seized upon this opportunity. It entered the Chinese market in 2015, opening a 7,000sqm flagship shop in Nanjing.
In 2016 the second store was opened in Xuzhou with an area of 10,000sqm. The brand’s Xuzhou was the largest Hamleys store among all 114 stores in the world, while, in just 3 months, the record was surpassed by the new Wangfujing store in Beijing.
Currently, the brand has expanded to 25 countries including China, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, and India.