CASE STUDY: HAMLEYS, The Family Face of Retail

05 May CASE STUDY: HAMLEYS, The Family Face of Retail

Developing a game-changer for Hamleys retailer

Intelligent Retail® and Island Pacific, both part of the 3Q group, joined forces to create a tailored and unique system for Hamleys, the ‘The Finest Toyshop in the World’.

Intelligent Retail®, founded in 2004, was the first company to design a multichannel solution specifically for the needs of retailers. Featuring seamless integration into leading online marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon, Connect allows retailers to rapidly develop and grow. The award winning system is used by over 500 retail companies throughout the world.

For 30 years Island Pacific has been a thought leader in retail software solutions in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Island Pacific is a leading resource for scalable, flexible and affordable solutions for retailers around the world. Island Pacific’s solutions are used globally.

Hamleys LogoHamleys is one of the world’s most famous names in toy and game retailing.

With a heritage that stretches back over 255 years, the company positions itself as ‘The Finest Toyshop in the World’.

Hamleys’ strong global brand currently trades across 22 countries, with 13 stores in the UK and Ireland and 59 international stores, and is undergoing further expansion.

“What (Intelligent Retail®) gave us was a fresh and exciting new website that could excite our customers
and families and an integrated order management system which can deal with multiple channels.”

David Oakley, Head of IT, Hamleys

The Challenge


With a long and illustrious heritage stretching back over 255 years, a trip to Hamleys has long been viewed by many children as the highlight of the year – especially in the lead up to Christmas – and Hamleys wanted to sustain that sense of excitement, even in the new marketplace where many customers would shop online, rather than in-store. To hold the brand promise Hamleys needed a solution which re-energiesed their existing website.

The direction was to deliver a solution that was made up of two distinct components: a transactional element, which allowed customers to ‘Shop’ and an area which enabled customers to ‘Explore’ more of the brand experience.

Hamleys recognised that to achieve its objectives and deliver an appropriate customer experience three areas in particular needed to be addressed. First, the website had to be fully integrated with order fulfillment and inventory control systems to ensure that customers would be able to order the products they wanted. Secondly, the whole of the digital experience had to capture that excitement, fun and inspiration that Hamleys has always stood for. Finally, whatever solution was chosen had to be easily extended to Hamleys growing international partner base.

The Solution

The worldwide nature of Hamleys’ business meant that it needed to select a partner with global reach and with the ability to deliver against tight timelines. It made business and IT sense for Hamleys to select 3Q’s Intelligent Retail® and Island Pacific as the solutions provider.

3Q’s Intelligent Retail® and Island Pacific worked with Hamleys to develop an in-depth understanding of each other’s technology, approach and personalities. This allowed the project to hit the ground running as timelines tightened further and as buy-in was achieved from the relevant stakeholders in marketing, fulfilment/warehousing, merchandising and Hamleys’ own technical team.

The overall solution, which went live just three months after the start of Analysis & Design, incorporates modules from Island Pacific’s SmartSuite and Intelligent Retail®’s Connect website engine. The project compromised of a number of elements tailored for Hamleys’ business model and specific requirements.

The project ensured streamlined order management by uniting the disparate sales channels – website, call centre and Amazon – together in a single, fully integrated system. The Connect website engine is based on best practice from over 400 web retailers. Connect gave Hamleys the opportunity to help customers to find products quickly and then increase basket size by up-selling. The customisable nature of the solution meant that Hamleys could communicate its brand values in exciting ways. It also enabled them to add new stock lines rapidly to ensure that the company could quickly take advantage of new market trends.

“A new, more engaging frontend that is breathing new life into our website.”

David Oakley, Head of IT, Hamleys


Intelligent Retail®’s website solution gave Hamleys the ability to deliver integrated customer experiences to online shoppers, mirroring – and even enhancing – the instore experience.

Online shoppers now find it easier to identify products, check stock and information, place orders and feel more engaged with the brand.

From a business perspective, bringing the various channels together provides a more accurate and timely insight into business performance across the organisation, from orders and revenues to stock levels and replenishment.

Hamelys now has the ability to add further applications, services and channels as the industry and market continues to evolve – a major benefit in today’s global retail landscape.

The solution is capable of being rolled out across different geographies, so that as Hamleys’ reach expands.


More Engaging

Hamleys can now offer a richer, more engaging shopping and brand experience to customers, with multiple images, easier search, multiple payment options, easier purchasing and more effective customer interaction with products to increase conversion rates.

As the needs of the business grow, it will be a simple matter to add functionality, products and channels.

Benefits for Hamleys

Hamleys Store

Better customer experiences
The single platform, rich content and with the introduction of the ‘Explore’ section gives customers – and their children – a more engaging experience that a trip to a Hamleys store has always created. Shopping is easier and more pleasurable; creating enhanced customer loyalty and increased revenues. The international facility opens up a world of new possibilities.

More efficient order management
The solution provides complete visibility of stock holding and sales. It communicates stock and product information instantly to online customers and enhances the company’s warehousing and fulfilment capabilities.

Flexibility and growth
The solution is a modular, allowing Hamleys to add and integrate new channels, services, capabilities and functionality.

Brand consistency and excellence: Hamleys’ brand occupies a unique place in shoppers’ hearts. Instantly recognisable in-store or on shopping bags, its online presence now carries the same cachet and sense of excitement!


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Intelligent Retail® is a software and hardware provider, especially designed for the retail industry. Founded in 2004, Intelligent Retail® and sister companies Island Pacific and Advanced Retail are backed by 3Q Holdings – bringing you the very best in global retail solutions and over 30 years experience.

Intelligent Retail®’s Connect software includes a unique multichannel solution, bringing together everything from warehousing and product management to websites and eBay – all within the one software package. With multiple distribution channels and ever more demanding consumers, building strong, long lasting relationships with both businesses and individual customers can place tremendous pressure on your business, your IT infrastructure and your personnel. Intelligent Retail provides a complete end-to-end solution covering the full scope of retail management.

Intelligent Retail®’s Connect system has been carefully crafted with continuous improvement in mind, providing a robust and feature-rich product that can be continually upgraded to match the fast pace of change in the retail environment.

Whatever your aim whether is be to simplify retail operations, expand the business, or just improve customer relations – Intelligent Retail® will ensure the Connect solution is deployed effectively and aligns with your business strategy, so you can achieve all this and more.

For a demo, or to find out exactly how this pioneering, end-to-end solution could benefit your business, contact us today.