Hamleys will open the biggest toy store in Europe in Moscow this year as it expands its global footprint.
The store, which will span 72,600 sq ft and cover two floors at the Central Children’s Store building on Moscow’s Lubyanka Square, is also poised to become the biggest toy shop in the world in 2016.
Toys R Us is thought to be closing or downsizing its 110,000 sq ft Times Square store, which is the world’s largest toy shop at present, by January 2016. Property agent Cushman & Wakefield is marketing the building.
Hamleys’ Lubyanka Square store will be significantly larger than its Regent Street flagship, which comes in at 54,000 sq ft and is Europe’s biggest toy store at present.
The initiative comes as other retailers express caution over the state of the Russian market. New Look said on Tuesday it was putting its expansion plans in the country on ice due to the political instability in the region.
Hamleys already has four stores in Russia, including two in Moscow, one in Krasnodar and one in St Petersburg, which it opened last month.
Hamleys head of marketing and web Mark Drummond said the retailer plans to have six stores in Russia by the end of the year, including the Lubyanka Square shop.
Although the Lubyanka store is scheduled to open this year, it is understood the date has not yet been confirmed because the Central Children’s Store is still being refurbished.
Hamleys operates 30 shops outside the UK, across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.