Hamleys Russia deal falls through

Hamleys will not open its store in Moscow as planned this September after the deal with its franchise partner collapsed.
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Retail Week has reported that the retailer’s head of marketing and retail Nigel Wheatley said it wanted to choose the right locations and partner, and Russian retail franchise partner FD Lab “is a great brand but we had to be comfortable with everything”.

The retailer has said it still has plans to open in Russia. “We are still excited about Russia and want to do it,” added Wheatley.

FD Lab president Alexander Lopatine alleged that Hamleys is slimming down its own-branded offering, meaning the deal was not attractive.

“I don’t see so much value in the brand,” said Lopatine. “If there was more own-brand I’d feel more comfortable about it.”

Lopatine said he wanted to open 20 Hamleys stores across Russia, but asked Hamleys to lower its fees and he said Hamleys refused.

The firm was also considering co-branding marketing initiatives with Coca-Cola, but Hamleys said no to the idea.

Instead, F.D. Lab will open its own toy store in the same property.

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