February 15, 2019
Geoffrey Money won’t necessarily become a widespread “currency” at Christmastime once again, as it was during the heyday of Toys “R” Us. But a newly-launched company that owns the Geoffrey the Giraffe brand, as well as the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands along with several others, plans to be an active participant in 2019 holiday shopping season.
“That’s certainly our intent, to be in a position where U.S. consumers can engage with Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us again this holiday season,” Richard Barry, a former Toys “R” Us executive who now leads the newcomer, told Bloomberg News. “A significant amount of market share has been left on the table.”
That new company, Tru Kids Inc., acquired its predecessor’s intellectual property in January and formally announced that it was open for business earlier this month. It’s owned by funds led by Solus Alternative Asset Management and Angelo, Gordon & Co.
The seven-decade-old Toys “R” Us chain liquidated its operations in the U.S., U.K. and Australia last year, after failing to emerge from bankruptcy. However, other units globally remained open and generated a combined $3 billion in sales during 2018.
Plans call for opening 70 more stores across Europe, India and Asia this year, and developing a robust e-commerce platform. Online retailing was an area where Toys “R” Us fell short, Barry told Bloomberg.
“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,” Barry, who serves as Tru Kids’ president and CEO, said.
“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.,” he continued. “In addition, our strong global footprint is led by experienced and passionate operating teams that are 100% focused on growth.”
The company is also looking for licensing partners here and overseas. It will be headquartered in northern New Jersey, as was its predecessor.
Pictured: A Toys “R” Us in Bangalore, India
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