It’s the world’s most famous toy store which for more than 250 years has put smiles on children’s faces – and today it opens in Cardiff.
A host of children’s entertainers and costumed characters will celebrate the opening of toy company Hamleys’ first Welsh branch in the city’s St David’s centre.
Competition winners will be among 100 children being offered the chance to have a sneak preview of the 10,000sq ft shop this morning before its official opening at 10.30am.
Thousands of children’s toys have been packed into the premises, which employs 45 staff, in preparation for today’s grand opening.
The store’s launch comes as the city prepares for the Christmas shopping season and the annual Step Into Christmas event.
Describing the new Hamleys store, Pearce Richards, marketing and events coordinator, said: “It’s just a world of colour and it hits every single sense. The colours are so vibrant and it looks fantastic.”
Mr Richards, 29, of Cardiff Bay, said the reaction to the store ahead of its grand opening was “unbelievable”.
He said: “Everybody is just so excited and it’s such an iconic brand. It’s quite unique and so for it to come to Cardiff, it’s a bit of a coup for the city.”
Hamleys, famous for its flagship seven-floor outlet on London’s Regent Street, has other stores located in Glasgow, Dublin, Moscow, Copenhagen and Dubai.
Gudjon Reynisson, CEO of Hamleys, said: “Hamleys is very excited to be opening in Cardiff’s St David’s centre. Our unique retail proposition of fun, theatre and entertainment we are sure will prove a hit and we are looking forward to working closely with the St David’s centre to bring the Hamleys experience to the people of Wales.”
Steven Madeley, centre director of St David’s, said: “We are extremely excited about the arrival of Hamleys to St David’s.”