Hamleys sold to India’s richest man

Iconic toy store Hamleys has been sold to Reliance Brands Limited, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries – a conglomerate holding company owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India and the 13th richest man in the world as of March 2019.

C.Banner International sold 100% of its shares in the toy store to Reliance Brands Limited in a deal completed on 9 May.

In October, it was reported that C.Banner were considering the sale of the toy store after it reported a £9.2m loss in 2017.

Founded in 1760, Hamleys has over 250 years of celebrated history of being the oldest and largest toy shop in the world.

Globally, Hamleys has 167 stores across 18 countries. In India, Reliance has the master franchise for Hamleys, and currently operates 88 stores across 29 cities.

Darshan Mehta, president and CEO of Reliance Brands, said: “Over the last few years, we have built a very significant and profitable business in toy retailing under the Hamleys brand in India. This 250 year old English toy retailer pioneered the concept of experiential retailing, decades before the concept of creating unique experiences in bricks-and-mortar retailing became the new global norm.

“The worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business, places Reliance into the frontline of global retail. Personally it is a long cherished dream come true.”

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