Shopping Centers Today

APR 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 15 of 83

The past few years have seen Hamleys open nearly 40 stores across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Despite uneven success among European retailers making forays into the U.S. — think Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Tesco — analysts are op- timistic about Hamleys' prospects. Its sta- tus as an iconic British brand will be sig- nificant, alongside the experience gained from its other foreign ventures, according to Andrew Phipps, CBRE's head of retail research for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The cities the chain is supposedly targeting "seem about right," he says, with the exception, perhaps, of Los Angeles — which he calls a city without an obvious center. "I'm not sure where they would open in L.A.," Phipps said. Hamleys would be taking the right ap- proach in combining key cities with air- ports, according to James Ebel, a director at London-based retail property advisory firm Harper Dennis Hobbs. Ebel, whose past clients have included the Kennedy and Los Angeles airports, says Hamleys AMLEyS, wHICH HAS been delighting British children since 1760, is about to do the same for children in the Americas. The London-based, world-renowned toy chain, owned by French retailer Groupe Ludendo since 2012, will open in Mexico, and reportedly is scouting out Chicago, Los Angeles and New york City, as well as some U.S. airports. would find New york City rents to be similar to London's, noting that both are "cut-throat" markets. But coming to America would be no cakewalk, caution retail experts on the U.S. side of the Atlantic. "It will be a challenge for Hamleys, as rival FAO Schwarz can attest," said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail group at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. "Dis- counters, Toys 'R' Us and Amazon dominate the toy market. Hamleys will have to emphasize its pedigree, its abil- ity to get unique merchandise, and pro- vide terrific service." But she adds that opening in the heart of Chicago, Los Angeles and New york would provide the British icon with "sophisticated global shoppers who will be familiar with the name." Consolo suggests that locations on Michigan Avenue, H Toys ahoy ICONIC BrItIsh tOystOre ChaIN hamleys Is fINally CrOssINg the pONd By David Harris r e t a i l i n g t o d a y 16 S C t / a p r I l 2 0 1 5 P h o t o : A n g e l i n A D i m i t r o v A / S h u t t e r S t o c k . c o m

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