Hamleys has reportedly received a bid of interest from Gulf Greetings, the Middle Eastern owner of rival retailer, The Toy Store.
It is understood that The Toy Store’s owner has sent a letter of intent to Hamleys-owner Ludendo, highlighting its interest in acquiring the iconic Hamleys names.
However, the French business Ludendo is still in talks with the Chinese conglomerate Sanpower for purchase of Hamleys, who still appears to be the most likely buyer, reports Retail Week.
“There is always interest in Hamleys but we cannot offer further comment at this stage,” said a Hamleys spokeswoman.
It emerged in June that Sanpower chairman Yuan Yafei is in talks to buy Hamleys, following the purchase of a controlling stake in House of Fraser in April n a deal valuing the department store group at £480 million.
The Toy Store meanwhile, has recently signed a 27,000 sq ft property on Oxford Street, putting it in direct competition with Hamleys’ flagship Regent Street store.
The new store will be the Middle Eastern retailer’s first in the UK and will be located in the West One shopping centre at Bond Street. The company has revealed it is seeking “key locations” across the UK and plans to open six new stores over the next three years.