Reliance Retail To Launch 20 New Hamley Stores In India

Reliance Industries Limited led by MukeshAmbani is soon to up the ante in the toy industry, by infusing the global trends. The company’s subsidiary, Reliance Retail, intends to roll out 20 new Hamley stores in the next three years. Sources claim that this would require an investment of around Rs. 120 crore.

Darshan Mehta, President and CEO of Reliance Brands Limited, stated that they are planning to launch around 20 new stores in three years time. He believes that their goal is achievable. They have two stores in Mumbai and the third one is under construction. Mehta claims that they will have around five store openings, this year, considering the fact that they have their store roll out in Chandigarh, Pune, Surat. He also states that they will aim to have 11 stores by the end of the calendar year 2013.

Reliance Retail collaborated with Hamleys, UK based toy store as they inked an exclusive pan – India franchiseagreement in 2010. Their first store was launched in Mumbai last year. Speaking about the tie- up,Reliance Retail President and CEO, Bijou Kurien, stated that Hamleys predicts a boom in the toy industry in India and has hence, partnered With Reliance, to tap the same. He also added that their first store located in Mumbai has high footfalls and has been receiving a huge response. Extending to an area of 21,000 square foot, the store is huge and massive.

About the sea- change in the toy industry wherein remote controlled and edutainment toys have replaced soft toys, Kurien opined that boys are now fond of having radio-operated toys and girls are more interested in activity-oriented toys than the traditional stuffed toys. He stated that the current per capita consumption of toys in India is very low vis-à-vis USA and China. However, the scenario is changing and the market for branded toys is expectedto grow at 10%- 15%, year on year. At present, it is valued at over Rs.1500 crore. He also believes that the foray of organized sectors into the market may serve to be an impetus to this growth.

The Chennai store, their second store, extends to an area of 11,000 square feet stocks and houses top- notch international toys like Lego, Mattel, Funskool, Monopoly, Transformer, Nerf,and Fisher Price along with other renowned, Indian and Chinese ones. Mr. Kurien stated that the store would cater to people from all strata of the society and display toys that are affordable to the high-end ones. In order to provide the best consumer service and resolve their every query, the store has staff trained by Hamleys Academy.