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December 25, 2017

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Biggest Hamleys store opens in Beijing

BRITISH toy retailer Hamleys has opened its largest store in the world in Beijing.

Christmas elves, a teddy bear parade and a curiously slender Santa marked the opening of the five-story emporium — double the size of Hamleys’ flagship London store — in Beijing’s Wangfujing shopping district.

The launch comes two years after Chinese shoe company C.banner acquired Hamleys from its previous owner, France’s Groupe Ludendo, for 100 million pounds (US$134 million).

“In China, the holiday is just for kids. It’s a time to have fun and get some new toys,” said Daisy Yan, one of hundreds of locals who came to the store.

“This place is too expensive though. The toy car my son picked out costs 10 yuan more than most other stores.”

A stuffed lemur had a 1,619 yuan (US$246) price tag and a Hello Kitty ornament cost a whopping 2,208 yuan. Hamleys bears engraved with “I love China” on one paw cost less, at 129 yuan.

The toy retailer, founded by William Hamley in London in 1760, already has branches in the cities of Nanjing and Xuzhou in east China’s Jiangsu Province.


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