The oldest toy shop in the world expands into Russia, undeterred by a tough economic environment. Kirsty Basset reports.
World renowned toy retailer Hamleys has a new store...a few hundred metres from the Kremlin. The LEGO section has a particularly Russian feel, with replicas of Moscow's famous landmarks. It's glossy interior is in stark contrast to the tough conditions affecting Russia's economy. The rouble is down 40 per cent against the dollar since last summer - and the economy's been weakened by a fall in oil prices and western sanctions. But according to Hamleys' Chief Executive Gudjon Reynisson, the future is bright when it comes to toys. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HAMLEYS' CHIEF EXECUTIVE, GUDJON REYNISSON, SAYING: "This is a growing market in the world of toys. International brands, they want to work with us because Hamleys showcases brands with more respect if you can say than other retailers do. We give them space and we create interaction." At almost 7000 square feet, it dwarfs the flagship London store. And continues Hamleys push for international growth It's planning more than 20 new stores this year. And now has a presence in 40 countries, South Africa and Vietnam are its next two stops for 2015.