Hamleys will not open its store in Moscow as planned this September after the deal with its franchise partner collapsed.
Hamleys head of marketing and retail Nigel Wheatley said it wanted to choose the right locations and partner, and Russian retail franchise partner F.D. Lab “is a great brand but we had to be comfortable with everything”.
He said Hamleys still has plans to open in Russia. “We are still excited about Russia and want to do it,” he added.
F.D. Lab said Hamleys was asking for “crazy money”, according to its president Alexander Lopatine.
Lopatine alleged that Hamleys is slimming down its own-branded products and that meant the deal was not attractive. “I don’t see so much value in the brand,” said Lopatine. “If there was more own-brand I’d feel more comfortable about it.”
Lopatine said he wanted to open 20 Hamleys stores across Russia, but asked Hamleys to lower their fees and he said Hamleys refused.
Lopatine was also considering co-branding some marketing initiatives with Coca-Cola, but Hamleys said no to the idea.
Instead, F.D. Lab will open its own toy store in the same property.
F.D. Lab said it had been paying rent on the 1,750 sq m property while the deal was being discussed, and had already paid for store design and repairs in the store were underway.