Hamleys, a 257-year-old iconic British-founded toy retailer has opened its largest store in the world, in Beijing on Saturday, December 23.
The 5-story emporium which was located in Beijing’s Wangfujing area, the city’s main shopping district, was double the size of Hamleys’ flagship London store.
Its launch came two years after C.banner, a Chinese shoe company, acquired Hamleys from its previous owner, France’s Groupe Ludendo, for £100 million ($153 million).
Its opening was accompanied by a celebratory toy parade including Christmas elves, teddy bears, and a curiously slender Santa.
“In China, the holiday is just for kids. It’s a time to have fun and get some new toys,” said one of the locals who flocked the store. “This place is too expensive though. The toy car my son picked out costs 10 yuan more than most other stores,” she told AFP as per a story shared by ABS-CBN News.
Hamleys was founded by William Hamley in London in 1760, and is continuously expanding internationally since the mid-2000s, with stores opening in Dubai and Moscow.
Moreover, it already has branches in Nanjing and Xuzhou cities in China’s affluent eastern Jiangsu province.