China is preparing to open the world’s largest toy store in time for Christmas Day as it welcomes a new 10,700 sqm Hamleys in Beijing.
The new store is double the size of Hamleys’ London flagship store and the third to be opened in China.
Bosses at the footwear retailer C. Banner International, which acquired Hamleys in 2015, are seeking to exploit the opportunities in their home market since the one-child policy was abolished two years ago.
Rising incomes and an increase in children’s engagement with brands such as Peppa Pig and Thomas & Friends are said to be major drivers for growth in the Chinese toy market.
Retailers in China are also beginning to embrace Western sensibilities such as Christmas – while not for its religious sentiments, strictly but more its commercial opportunities.
“This is why we opened before Christmas,” said Jason Ji, chief marketing manager of Hamleys China. “Because we wanted to get the Western holiday atmosphere.
“We want the parents to get the feeling of how we celebrate Christmas in the UK and in other countries. We want to bring that culture to Beijing.”
Hamleys new megastore is located yards from Tiananmen Square and the mausoleum of Communist revolutionary leader, Mao Tse-Tung.
The store soft launched late last week.