Reliance Brands has signed a definitive agreement with Hong Kong-listed C Banner International Holdings to acquire 100 per cent shares of Hamleys Global Holdings, the owner of Hamleys brand. Hamleys has over 250 years of history of being the oldest and largest toy shop with 167 stores across 18 countries. In India, Reliance is the master franchise for Hamleys and currently operates 88 stores across 29 cities.
“The worldwide acquisition of iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail,” said Darshan Mehta, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reliance Brands, a subsidiary of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.
Mehta said Reliance Brands has built a significant and profitable business in toy retailing over the past few years under the Hamleys brand.
The 250-year-old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of experiential retailing, decades before the concept of creating unique experiences in brick and mortar retailing became the new global norm. “Personally, it is a long-cherished dream come true,” said Mehta in a statement issued late evening on Thursday.
Hamleys flagship Regent Street London store is set over seven floors with more than 50,000 toys on sale. It attracts over 50 lakh visitors each year.
Reliance Industries is a 120 billion dollar (about Rs 8.4 lakh crore) market cap conglomerate with the world’s biggest single-location crude oil refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat. It plans to gradually leverage its Jio telecom venture and get into fast-expanding e-commerce besides consumer-facing retails stores.
Reliance Brands currently operates more than 420 stores and 350 shop-in-shops in the country.