Reliance Retail is eyeing the toy market now. It has entered into an exclusive pan-India franchise with UK’s 248-year-old toy retailer, Hamleys.
As many as 20 Hamleys standalone stores will be set up by 2016. “By 2016, we will have invested about Rs 125 crore for this venture,” said Bijou Kurien, president and chief executive (lifestyle), Reliance Retail. “The flagship stores of Mumbai and Delhi will have a size of 25,000 to 30,000 sq feet, while regional stores will be of 10,000 to 15,000 sq feet.”
The stores, which will have products in the price range of Rs 5 to Rs 20000, will open beginning April 2009. They would stock a wide range of domestic and international brands including private labels from Hamleys.
While Reliance Retail will make all the financial investments, Hamleys will add value through design assistance, training as well as marketing and promotion activites. The business will have a separate team, which will be led by CEO Sudhir Pai.
The stores will have special spaces where children’s birthday parties or other get-togethers could be celebrated. Paul A Currie, trading director, Hamleys said, “Some dedicated staff within our stores will demonstrate how the toys work in order to give the consumers a better experience.”
Currie stressed that the toys would not be harmful in any way for the children. “We will have all quality checks in place,” he said. In view of the price-sensitive nature of the Indian market, said Kurien, great care would be given to the pricing strategy, .
The value of the Indian toys and games market is estimated at Rs 2500 crore. Of this, the organised market is about Rs 500 crore. Hamleys follows a franchise strategy for various markets that it expands into.