Hamleys is an institution as far as toy shops go but they really have lost the prestige they once ha
Hamleys is an institution as far as toy shops go but they really have lost the prestige they once had. Some "clever" marketing person came up with an idea to put on a "Build A Bear and Pay Your Child's Age" offer which in theory should have been great but no one did any homework as to the mass chaos this would cause. Given the history of Hamleys you would think that they would have a grasp of the impact an offer will have and thus put into place relevant and appropriate resource to deal with it. Not the case with the day we went. Admittedly this was the draw for us to visit the shop with out 9 month old and 2.5 year old. Upon arrival the queues were ridiculous and then the message got round that there were way too many people and the offer was being withdrawn. Annoying to say the least something as simple as allocated time slots via email would have solved this. Anyway this is a first world problem and there are children around the world starving. What really is unforgivable is the health and safety issues on site in the shop. There was no notification online/at the door that the escalator was out (this is the downward escalator so you wouldn't know until you tried to come down that it was out) and this would in turn mean that the lifts were going to be unusable. A lot of able bodied people (including teenagers) decided that as they were unable to come back down the escalators rather than use the stairs (which were badly signed posted and had no notices to direct people to them, so they initially looked like a private area) they would try and jam themselves in the lift. This meant that there was a massive violation of health and safety practices in the shop! I took one of my children in my arms and my wife queued for nearly 20 minutes to try and get on the lift and then once in the lift it wouldn't stop on the floor she needed. This carried on throughout the visit and when we spoke to staff they mentioned they had not been briefed on it and couldn't help. We had a double buggy and the only solution was to ignore the health and safety signs on the escalators that were working and risk the contraption getting caught in order that we could get down and exit the building. A seriously ridiculous situation to be in. Luckily I was with my wife but I dread to think how she would have had to contend with this situation on her own with 2 small children. I'm not one to make a mountain out of a mole hill and I can hold my own but I really hate to imagine what would have happened in the store if a mass evacuation was required in an emergency. Adults and children alike would have been hurt or worse. Somebody needs to address this and fast!