On Thursday, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has purchased British toy retailer Hamleys, informed the energy-to-telecoms conglomerate.
Reliance Industries operates the world’s largest single-location crude oil refinery in India (West), has been moderately transforming itself into a consumer-facing giant via its retail and telecoms ventures.
However, Reliance has signed a deed to buy Hamleys from Hong-Kong listed C Banner International Holdings. The company didn’t disclose the price but in 2015 C Banner had purchased it for 100 million pounds from France’s Groupe Ludendo. It further marks the first onset of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries in an overseas retail brand.
Chief Executive of Reliance Brands, Darshan Mehta claims that “the worldwide acquisition of the iconic Hamleys brand and business places Reliance into the frontline of global retail.”
Now, Reliance has the license to sell products of Hamleys in India.
Hamleys is founded in the year 1760, which resonates with a sense of nostalgia for adults, children and all with its flagship Regent Street Store, located in Central London. It has resisted global recession, world war bombings and has changed hands many times, the lates started 2015 sale by Groupe Ludendo.
Hamleys operates 167 stores across 18 nations, the majority of which are located in India. Reliance owns the master franchise, runs 88 Hamleys stores across 29 cities in India.
The company has established itself as India’s leading telecoms player, Reliance has been firming up plans for a major retail onslaught to combine its traditional store with an online onset objected at taking on Walmart and Amazon in India.
Hamleys is already the country’s biggest bricks-and-mortar retailers in terms of stores and revenue.
The strategy to expand beyond petrochemicals and refining has started to bear fruit, with its fast-growing retail and telecoms operations driving quarterly income to record high despite its gross refining margin taking a hit from oil price volatility and slowing global demand.
Reliance Industries retail business has doubled the revenue to Rs. 356 billion ($5.1 billion) in 3 months to December 31, 2018, while earnings before interest and tax more than triple to Rs. 15 billion.