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British icons eyeing Australia


Marks Spencer Leeds UKBritish retail icon, Marks & Spencer, and one of the world’s most famous toy stores, Hamleys, are scouting for Australian stores.

Marks & Spencer had leasing agents looking for stores in Melbourne and Sydney last month, according to Fairfax.

The London-based M&S, which has more than 1000 stores worldwide, was founded in 1884.

It sells a mixture of homebrand grocery, pre-packaged food, and general merchandise.

Its international stores are largely focused around its accessible, value driven apparel ranges.

M&S is due to report its half-year results this week, with food sales expected to continue rising but general merchandise sales flat.

It could expand to Australia via the Singapore-based brand manager, Royal Sporting House (RSH), which specialises in sportswear.

Fairfax is reporting that RSH was scouting for the capital city locations on behalf of M&S.

Hamleys toying with Australia

Fellow British icon, Hamleys, is scouting for sites along Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall and surrounding CBD locations.

Melbourne’s Bourke St and key shopping centres in both states are also potential options, according to Fairfax.

Hamleys is named after William Hamley, a toy enthusiast that opened his first store, Noah’s Ark, in London in 1760.

It is best known for its Regent St flagship in London: the world’s largest toy store and a major British tourist attraction.

The 250-year old chain was acquired last year by the French toy retailer, Groupe Ludendo, for a reported £60 million (AU$101 million).

Groupe Ludendo has 300 toy stores in France, Spain, Belgium, and Switzerland and has the manpower for international expansion.


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