Hamleys to open flagship store in Glasgow

BRITAIN'S most famous toy shop is to open a store the size of a football pitch in Glasgow.

Hamleys will take a 30,000 sq ft shop in the revamped 100million St Enoch Centre.

It will be the company's biggest store outside London and will become one of three new flagship sites across the world.

Escalators will take customers right into the heart of the store, on the top floor of the mall, and builders are knocking down walls that have already been built to allow the shop to flow into a new food court.

Gudjon Reynisson, Hamleys chief executive, said: "Our focus in the UK is very much on St Enoch and the final result promises to be something special."

The store will be its only site in Scotland, with the mall beating competition from sites in Edinburgh to win its business.

Hamleys closed its outlet at Frasers, Buchanan Street, two months ago.

Mr Reynisson said: "St Enoch was appealing to us from the very start.

"The centre's location is important to us and the design and layout gives us tremendous presence in the Argyle Street/ Buchanan Street area.

"Our iconic store in Regent Street, London, has always been a hugely popular tourist and special occasion destination, be it for presents, birthdays or Christmas.

"But the St Enoch store will offer an entirely new format to customers. It will be one for the shoppers of Glasgow to visit on a more frequent and regular basis."

It is likely there will be an element of theatre' to the store, with staff dressed in costume and shows and themed events taking place.

Another major coup for the mall is that Hamleys has taken most of the top floor of the redeveloped centre - an area that causes most developers problems to let.

The store will open in the autumn.

Richard Kingston, of Ivanhoe Cambridge, which owns the centre, said: "Adding Hamleys to our tenants underlines St Enoch's role as a significant regional shopping destination."