06 Nov 4th Hamleys Flagship Store Opens At Eastgate Shopping Centre
Hamleys, which hit South Africa in August 2015, has since enjoyed the fastest role out of stores the iconic brand has ever experienced – with 3 flagship stores opened in South Africa in just 3 months, and a 4th due to open at Eastgate shopping centre in March 2016.
The opening of the first store, at Greenstone shopping centre in Johannesburg in August last year, set the tone for those that followed, with 10 000 people queuing for 5 hours to get a taste of the “Hamleys Experience” – the busiest opening of any of the 75 stores around the world.
With brand awareness high even before the first store opened, it’s no surprise that South African expansion plans have moved faster than anticipated. Says Philip Paphitis of Hamleys SA, “We are fortunate to have 256 years of brand-building behind us – Hamleys is the most famous toy store in the world, but we have still been astonished at how well known the brand was in South Africa, before we even opened at Greenstone.”
Says Paphitis, “The new Eastgate store will be our largest store to date, in a custom-built addition to the existing Eastgate shopping centre, and is a conversion from an existing toy store, Caves Toyshop, which traded for 27 years. The success of the first 3 stores, which have exceeded all our expectations, means that landlords are very eager to add Hamleys to their retail mix and we are able to retain our exclusivity by choosing only leading shopping destinations.”
With 71 stores in 20 countries, and with an ethos that encourages active engagement with customers, particularly children, Hamleys have set themselves apart from their competitors with a recipe that is hard to beat.