India’s Reliance in tie-up with famed toy store Hamleys

MUMBAI, August 13, 2008 (AFP) – Indian corporate giant Reliance announced a tie-up with famed British toy retailer Hamleys, promising to bring India’s children “world-class toy stores.” Reliance Retail, part of the Reliance Group conglomerate, plans to open two Hamleys stores in Mumbai and New Delhi in 2009 with a total of 20 set to open across the country by 2015, a Reliance spokeswoman said.

“Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) will be the partner in one of the biggest international expansions by the old iconic toy retailer (which is) approaching its 250th anniversary in 2010,” Reliance Retail said in a statement.

Hamleys, whose seven-storey flagship store on London’s Regent Street is a favourite haunt of children, is controlled by the Icelandic investor Baugur.

The announcement came as Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco in London said it would open wholesale grocery stores in India to supply goods to 46 hypermarkets planned by Indian conglomerate Tata Group in addition to four already launched.

A growing number of foreign retailers have been making a beeline for the Indian market to target the nation’s burgeoning middle class.

But Indian law allows foreign ret