British toy retailer Hamleys has a new owner

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British toy retailer Hamleys has a new owner
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Sheep purple

The toy retail industry still undergoes massive changes. It’s been a year since Toys R Us is no more in the US and UK and there are still big changes.

The latest comes from the UK where the global toy retailer Hamleys now has a new owner, The Guardian reports. The Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is now the new owner of Hamleys.

Reliance Industries is a long time partner of Hamleys and helped the retailer expand in India. Hamleys is also the world’s oldest toy shop as it was founded in 1760.

Over the years it has had several different owners from Iceland, France, China. Now Reliance is paying 68 million British pounds. The company will try once again to turn Hamleys into a global name.

The toy store chain has 167 stores in 18 countries. Most of them are in India, so the deal isn’t surprising. And most of these stores are operated by Reliance Brands – a total of 88. Reliance wants to use Hamleys for a major push both on the classic retail space and online to battle the rise of Amazon and Walmart in India.

“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail,” he said. “Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India”, Reliance Brands’ chief executive, Darshan Mehta says. As for the UK fans of Hamleys, things should change. The brand is also keeping its 7-story store on Regent Street in London.