Next Directory is to sell Hamleys toys in its Christmas catalogue alongside its existing gadgets and gift ranges.

A Next spokesman confirmed it held conversations with the iconic toy store on Tuesday, although he added it was “not yet a done deal”.

The tie-up will give Hamleys a chance to target a wider circle of customers. Hamleys has its flagship store on Regent Street, alongside its airport stores, after pulling out of its House of Fraser concessions earlier this year (Retail Week, April 24).

Hamleys plans to open more standalone stores in the UK, with an opening at Glasgow’s St Enoch centre expected later this year.

An analyst said it was a “sensible move” for Next. He said: “Hamleys is a good brand and everyone is familiar with it. And after Woolworths’ demise there is a big hole in the market for toys.”

Hamleys could not be reached for comment.