British toy store Hamleys to open in US

Britain's oldest and most popular toy store, Hamleys, is planning on rolling out stores across the United States. The retailer is looking at locations in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, along with 20 airport storefronts.

Hamleys first opened in London in 1760 under the name Noah's Ark, reported the Daily Mail. The flagship location has stood on Regent Street since 1881 and changed its name at that time to honor the founder, William Hamley. The company was bought by Group Ludendo in 2012 and now has 40 stores around the world.

The flagship has more than 50,000 toys on seven floors. It will be in direct competition with Toys R Us, America's biggest toy store with more locations than any other in the world. The retailer holds a loyal customer base, with more than 18 million members in its Rewards R Us loyalty program. The company did experience a setback in 2013, when it lost $1 billion annually, its first loss since 2008. Since then, the company has gone back to basics, focusing on improving customer loyalty and the in-store experience.

Few British retailers have been successful in the United States. One exception is apparel maker TopShop, which opened a flagship location in Manhattan at the end of 2014. The midtown, four-level store is located on Fifth Avenue and 49th Street and is the retailer's second largest store after the 90,000 sq. ft. flagship in London.

For more:
-See this Daily Mail article

Related stories:
Toys R Us goes back to basics
TopShop opens flagship in midtown New York
Toys R Us HR and merchandising execs leave in CEO's wake
Toys R Us fighting to return the old-fashioned way: It's actually fighting
Toys R Us has best mobile shopping customer experience

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