Friday, April 24, 2009

Marketing Failure?

Last week it was reported on the BBC news website that Hamley's the toy shop was pulling out of Victoria Square shopping centre.

This was a big shock to me - not at the loss of another trader from Belfast's newest development, but because I didn't even know it was in Victoria Square in the first place!

The company is claiming that they are ending their association with House of Fraser, and pulling out of having small Hamley's branches within big House of Fraser stores, to instead concentrate on having stand-alone Hamley's stores.

I'm sure I'm not the only person in Northern Ireland that didn't know that there was a Hamley's store in Belfast. In fact, I only realised it was there when I saw a friend's photo of the House of Fraser store on Flickr. Situated on the top floor of House of Fraser, it wasn't somewhere I had ventured, and there didn't appear to be any signs highlighting its existence.

It will be sad to see it go, and perhaps is another sign of the uncertainty of the times, as it leaves in the wake of Zavvi, Crombie, and even possibly French Connection.

Is it simply a marketing failure, by not getting its message out, so that people weren't even aware of its existence? Perhaps. Farewell Hamley's. I'll see you in London!

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