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Hamleys entering the Polish market with its first store in Galeria Polnocna


January 9, 2017 · EuropaProperty

British retailer Hamleys – one of the world's largest network of of stores has decided to open its first store in Poland. For its location Hamleys picked Galeria Polnocna, where the brand has leased a 1,600 sqm unit. Such a large store will present a wide range of proprietary products and international entertainment and education products. What distinguishes this brand from others, is the unique arrangement of their stores and rich program of events has revived the world of toys, giving its customers an unforgettable experience.

Today, Hamleys has more than 70 stores worldwide, including Dublin, Dubai, Amman, Glasgow, Bombay, Madras and Riyadh. The most famous Hamleys store is located on Regent Street in London. The shop is a true icon of the city and one of the major tourist attractions of the capital of Great Britain. Annually, it is visited by over 5 million people and is one of the oldest (the history of the brand dates back to year 1760) and largest toy stores in the world (surface area around 5,000 sqm). The aim is to not only be a supplier of toys, but also a unique experience for whole family.

Company's strategy assumes dynamic development of chain stores around the world. By the end of 2018 it's number of stores is expected to rise to 150. On May 5, 2016 Hamleys World opened in Prague one of it's biggest stores with 6,000 sqm of retail space. Shortly after it's opening, the store received great enthusiasm from the public, and to this day it was visited by more than 3 million people. Furthermore, by opening it's store in Poland, it will be a great opportunity for Hamleys development, particularly in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. Bialolecka store will be the second largest store Hamleys in the region.

"We would like this centre, in this part of Warsaw to be truly unique. We devoted a lot of energy to invite really unique and interesting tenants. In a near future, Białołęka residents will have the quickest way to get to the world of entertainment and fun offered by Hamleys," said Agnieszka Nowak, Director of Galeria Polnocna.

Polish Hamleys, similarly as in other countries will be managed by a franchise partner – the Czech company Inexad. Its managing partner Pavel Čmelík emphasizes that the location of Polish facility was chosen very carefully.

"Hamleys flagship stores are formed in the leading shopping centers and largest shopping streets in the world. Hamleys stores have an average area of about 1,500 sqm. The choice of Warsaw was so natural for us, however, we gave a lot of attention during the selection of the appropriate center," he said.

"According to our analysis, Galeria Polnocna is the best project to start operations in a Poland - this is the first and biggest shopping center in this area, strongly awaited by locals and retail industry. It is important to highlight that the main inhabitants of Białołęka are mainly young families with children. We wanted to use this potential and create for them a unique place," concluded Pavel Čmelík.

Brand promises that the range of products in Hamleys store in Warsaw will be matched to the customer requirements. When selecting the offer, brand will consider children's favourite characters and stories.

"Hamleys is not just another toy store. It is interactive form of sales through games and education. It is also many years of retail tradition, which is being brought from the most prestigious shopping street of London. That is why we are very pleased that the iconic brand, which is adored by children and adults selected our project," summed up Jacek Wachowicz, Chief Investment Officer, GTC.
During the transaction of lease GTC – the developer of Galeria Polnocna – was advised by experts from JLL. "We are very proud that Hamleys joined our group of amazing tenants. It's presence in Galeria Polnocna will be a significant differentiator in the market in Warsaw, as well as in Poland," said Anna Wysocka, National Director, Head of Retail Agency, JLL.

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