Hamleys opens largest toy store in Moscow

British retailer Hamleys announced the opening of its largest store to date in Moscow.

Despite an economic downturn, Russia will now have a store larger than the landmark store in London, reported Bloomberg. Located in Central Children's Mall in Moscow's Lubyanka Square, the shop will span 73,000 sq. ft, almost 20,000 more sq. ft. than the London flagship.

Hamleys was acquired by Group Ludendo in 2012 and uses local franchisees to grow in developing markets such as India, Russia and the Middle East. The Hamleys Moscow location is located in what was once the former Soviet Union's biggest toy store, Detsky Mir, which operated from 1957 until 2008.

And despite Russia's economic difficulties, Hamleys still sees potential the former global superpower. 

"Crises come and go, while we are making a long-term project," entrepreneur Evgeny Butman, who runs the Hamleys Russian franchise, told Bloomberg. "We run four smaller Hamleys stores in Russia and sales have been growing there, including in recent months. Hamleys is proving its resilience."

Last month Hamleys announced it would foray into the U.S. marketplace, with interest in locations such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, as well as 20 airport storefronts.

In both Russia and the United States, Hamleys will have to compete with Toys R Us, which has more locations than any other toy store in the world. The retailer retains a loyal customer base, with more than 18 million members in its Rewards R Us loyalty program. Since a setback in 2013, the company has gone back to basics, focusing on improving customer loyalty and the in-store experience.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg article

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