Hamleys: The world's biggest toy store IS coming to Edinburgh - but its exact location remains a mystery

The biggest name in toys is coming to Edinburgh – but no one is able to say where or when.

Sunday, 23rd May 2021, 4:37 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Hamleys Toy Store – the oldest and largest toy shop in the world and one of the world's best-known retailers of toys – had previously indicated that it was planning a return to the Capital.

It previously had an outlet in the basement of Jenners on Princes Street but pulled out two years ago. Since then, the nearest Hamleys to the city has been at Livingston Designer Outlet.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speculation is mounting that Hamleys will be located in the new St James Centre

Now the household name is understood to be planning a fresh store in Edinburgh with the St James Centre, which due to open on June 24, a firm favourite.

Amid growing speculation, Hamleys has given no firm indication of its intended location despite advertising for a string of posts ‘in Edinburgh’

Various contracts are available for sales assistants working 30 and 39 hour per week and for senior sales staff. A 39-hour a week store manager is also being sought.

Adding further to the intrigue all the posts advertised are for temporary positions, and bosses at the showpiece St James Centre have carefully managed the release of information about its occupants so there has been no advanced publicity.

Hamleys flagship store in London

Hamleys was founded by William Hamley in 1760 as he dreamed of turning his Noah's Ark toy shop in London’s Holborn into the best toy shop in the world.

By 1881, he had moved to its current location on Regent Street - one of the world’s most famous shopping streets.

Ownership has passed through the hands of different family generations.

Hamleys in the basement of Jenners

Reliance Industries, an Indian retail company based in the capital Mumbai, later bought the iconic store.

Hamleys was then acquired for £68 million in an all-cash deal from Chinese footwear group C.banner International.

When House of Fraser bought Jenners in 2005 they stopped running the toy department, giving the space instead to Hamleys as a concession store in September 2007.

It lasted until 2009, before Belfast retailer Toytown took over. It was then followed by the UK’s largest independent toy retailer The Entertainer before Hamleys returned in April 2017.

The closure of Hamleys was seen by many as the first sign that all was not looking good for Jenners – which now lies empty awaiting redevelopment.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.