World famous Hamleys toy store set to return to Edinburgh

Hamleys will open in jenners next week.
Hamleys will open in jenners next week.
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WORLD famous toy store Hamleys is set for a return to the Capital when it opens a department in Jenners next week.

The move is part of a UK-wide expansion into six stores by the 257-year-old institution, selling traditional and high-tech games, puzzles, crafts and dolls.

It marks something of a u-turn for Hamleys after a similar store in Jenners was closed in 2009 after less than 18 months.

“We are delighted to partner with Hamleys and to bring such a wonderful toy brand to the city,” said Jenners manager Alan Thomlinson.

“We have listened to our customers’ feedback and we are extremely pleased be able to offer a prestigious toy department which will complement our existing premium childrenswear offering.”

Hamleys’ and Jenners’ last partnership opened in September 2007, one of five concession stores for the toy shop in House of Fraser stores, which owns Jenners.

Labelled a trial at the time, it was to close just 17 months later, amid speculation Hamleys wanted to focus on its own “large stand alone stores.”

A spokesperson for Hamleys said: “The retail market is always evolving - we have a fantastic space within House of Fraser Jenners that we are very excited about opening next week.”

London’s Hamleys first opened in 1760 by Cornishman William Hamley who dreamed of the best toy shop in the world.

It was originally based in Holborn before moving to its iconic present day Regent Street premises and growing into a global brand.

Hamleys currently has 107 shops in 24 countries including China, India, Russia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates.

A new partnership with House of Fraser will see the toy store open at six department stores across the UK.

Jenners was founded in 1838 by draper Charles Jenner and will mark its 180th anniversary on Princes Street next year. It was bought by House of Fraser in 2005.

The original buildings were destroyed by fire in 1892, and in 1893 the Scottish architect William Hamilton Beattie was appointed to design the present store - opening in 1895.

Listed as a category A building, the shop included technical innovations including electric lighting and hydraulic lifts.

Known as the “Harrods of the North”, Jenners has held a Royal Warrant since 1911 and was visited by the Queen on its 150th anniversary in 1988.

The Hamleys toy department at Jenners will open next Thursday, March 30, on the basement level of the Princes Street store.

A fun-packed opening next Saturday will feature stars of CBeebies’ Bing and Flop holding a meet and greet for fans.

And the following day, a LEGO Ninjago take over will give fans the chance to meet character Kai in store.

“Opening in Jenners is a very exciting moment for Hamleys,” said Hamleys CEO Gudjon Reynisson

“We’re looking forward to bringing delight and smiles to the faces of families with the opening of Hamleys in Scotland’s capital city.”

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk