Jan 29, 2024

Hamleys Exits the Czech Market and Been Rebranded as The Playground

British toy retailer Hamleys has exited the Czech market as of January 2024, reports Hospodářské noviny.

The former Hamleys megastore in Prague, located on Na příkopě, is still in operation. However, it was completely rebranded as The Playground in signage both outside and within the store shortly after the Christmas holidays.

Hamleys-branded products, including the iconic teddy bear, have slowly disappeared from the store’s shelves, social media profiles have been updated to reflect the new brand, and the former web address at hamleys.cz now redirects to theplayground.cz.

The reason for the change is that local operator Inexad, owned by Pavel Čmelík, did not reach a licensing agreement to continue operating under the Hamleys brand.

The grand opening of the Hamleys store in 2016 marked a significant event, as it became the largest store in Europe, surpassing even its London counterpart.

Spanning over six thousand square meters across three floors, it drew customers with attractions like a colossal slide winding through the atrium, a children’s carousel, a mechanical digger, a water channel, and lively staff showcasing toys.

Those exhibits are still operating at The Playground, which also houses a laser tag arena and arcade games zone.

The company representatives reassured customers that all gift vouchers and loyalty cards remain valid.

The first Hamleys shop was opened in London in 1760. Today, there are about 100 of the brand’s shops in the world, most of which are franchised.

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