Toys R Us is coming back! Well, maybe. Again.
Today the new company TRU Kids INC. released a press release announcing new plans to revive the sleeping toy giant ahead of this years New York Toy Fair. Looks like the plan is to open 70 new store fronts in England, Asia, and India, with online sales taking place in other areas of the world. No details on USA openings of any kind are available, though it says those will be announced later.
What does this all mean? Well, I think it means that the industry and the public missed the brand fiercely this past holiday season, and that this new company is set up in a prime position to storm the market. I wouldn't expect the toy palaces of old however, these would likely be smaller shops and set-ups in existing stores.
You can read the full press release below. Fingers crossed this bears fruit soon.
Effective January 20, 2019, the new company, Tru Kids Inc. doing business as Tru Kids Brands™, became the proud parent of Toys"R"Us®, Babies"R"Us®, Geoffrey® and more than 20 established consumer toy and baby brands.
Tru Kids Brands will be led by Richard Barry, the former global chief merchandising officer at Toys"R"Us, who will serve as President & CEO along with an experienced management team that includes Matthew Finigan as CFO, James Young as EVP of Global License Management & General Counsel, and Jean-Daniel Gatignol as SVP of Global Sourcing & Brands.
The company also appointed brand management veteran Yehuda Shmidman as Vice Chairman to advise on global strategy and execution. Shmidman is the CEO of Wave Hill Partners, and the former CEO of Sequential Brands Group.
For over 70 years, Toys"R"Us has celebrated the joys of childhood with kids of all ages and Babies"R"Us has been the destination for all new and expecting parents. Geoffrey the Giraffe, the beloved mascot of Toys"R"Us for more than 50 years, is adored by kids and their families all around the world.
This brand power remains as Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us generated over $3 billion in global retail sales in 2018 through more than 900 stores and e-commerce businesses in 30+ countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In the U.S., Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us continue to have incredibly strong brand affinity and loyalty with more than 9.5 million followers across their social media channels.
"Despite unprecedented efforts to capture the U.S. market share this past holiday season, there is still a significant gap and huge consumer demand for the trusted experience that Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us delivers," said Richard Barry, President & CEO of Tru Kids Brands. "We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the next chapter of Toys"R"Us by launching a newly imagined omni channel retail experience for our beloved brands here in the U.S. In addition, our strong global footprint is led by experienced and passionate operating teams that are 100% focused on growth."
Global partners include Al Futtaim Sons Co. LLC (UAE), Green Swan (Iberia), Keshet-Hypertoy Ltd (Israel), Lotte Shopping Co. Ltd (S. Korea), Marketing Services and Commercial Projects Operation Company (Saudi Arabia), Tablez & Toyz Private Ltd. (India), and Toys (Labuan) Holding Ltd. in partnership with Fung Retailing Ltd. (Asia). The Company will work closely with each to expand the Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us businesses in their respective markets as well as actively seek opportunities to bring the brands to new and emerging territories.
Tru Kids' global partners are set to bring the joy of Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us to more customers through the opening of 70 stores this year in Asia, India and Europe and the development of new e-commerce platforms in several key markets.
Tru Kids will be headquartered in New Jersey with a skilled team of returning Toys"R"Us employees.
"We have an incredible team focused on bringing Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us back in a completely new and reimagined way, so the U.S. doesn't have to go through another holiday without these beloved brands," added Barry.
Further updates on the U.S. business strategy to follow.
Tru Kids Brands
Tru Kids™ is the parent of beloved brands, including Toys"R"Us®, Babies"R"Us®, Geoffrey the Giraffe®, Journey Girls®, Fastlane®, True Heroes®, You & Me®, Imaginarium®, and Just Like Home®. Established in January 2019, Tru Kids is focused on growing its family of brands through innovative partnerships that deliver kid-and-parent-focused experiences that expand beyond traditional retails concepts in the physical and digital spaces.
The company delivers a wealth of services to our valued license partners around the world, in addition to design and development of over 20 additional established consumer brands. The company has offices in New Jersey, USA, Hong Kong & Shenzhen, China.
Tru Kids is a new company celebrating over 70 years of heritage with an expert team focused on families, kids, and play. Learn more at trukidsbrands.com.