Hamleys, the 257-year-old iconic British-founded toy retailer, has today opened its largest store worldwide in Beijing, China.
Just in time to coincide with the start of the Christmas season, the store opening will be accompanied by a celebratory toy parade.
Located in Beijing's Wangfujing area, the city's main shopping district similar to Oxford Street, the 10,700 square metre store spans five floors with thousands of items on display.
According to a spokesperson for the company, which operates in 25 countries worldwide, it aims to establish itself as a "lifestyle centre store" rather than just a toy shop with the aim of "bringing toys to life".
The interior of the Beijing Hamleys, which is the third in China, will replicate the UK design but has been built in an eco-friendly way to reduce emissions.
Brands to be found on the shelves include Peppa Pig, Disney and Lego – in fact China's largest lego display, at 240 square metres, will be in the new Hamleys.
Other attractions will consist of a carousel, an "ocean world" area, a virtual reality viewing experience and a Nerf gun shooting area.
Demand for toys in China has been boosted by the end of the country's one-child policy, as China's National Health and Family Planning Commission recorded a 7.6 rise in childbirths between 2015 and 2016.
Although this is only the third store opened in China, following those in Nanjing and Xuzhou, Hamleys – which has been owned by Chinese footwear conglomerate C.banner since 2015 – is planning to reach a total of 100 in the country.
According to accounts, Hamleys made a loss of £714,000 in 2016.
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