January of last year, Toys “R” Us declared that it would be closing 180 stores and selling off its remaining assets. In October of 2018, the company canceled its bankruptcy filing to rebrand itself as Geoffrey’s Toy Box. Now, it looks like one of the former Toys “R” Us executives who started Tru Kids Inc. wants to bring back Toys “R” Us. Could the finally be the comeback that Toys “R” Us needs to retake its spot back as the go-to toy store?
Toys “R” Us could be making a comeback in a smaller, more boutique way
According to Bloomberg, who spoke with people familiar to Tru Kids Inc. and Toys “R” Us, the company could be coming back this holiday season through about a half dozen U.S. stores and an e-commerce website. Richard Barry, a former Toys “R” Us executive who is now the CEO of Tru Kids Inc., has pitched his vision for Toys “R” us to make a comeback.
These new stores would be about 10,000 square feet in size, which is around one third the original size that the retailer used to take up. Not only is the new store slated to be smaller, but also will have more “experiences”, like play areas, giving kids a better all-around experience.
This new venture would also be helped out by potentially using a consignment inventory model, which means that manufacturers would not get paid until the retailer sold the item, saving Toys “R” Us from having to invest millions just to put products on the shelf.
Some big brands are already on board
MGA Entertainment Inc., one of the largest toy manufacturers around, is already on board with this new Toys “R” Us idea. As the company behind Little Tikes, L.O.L. Surprise!, and Bratz, MGA could be just what the new Toys “R” Us needs to survive. MGA’s CEO, Isaac Larian, said “This market needs a self-standing toy store, that’s for sure. We will sell them inventory.” in an interview.
Do we really need a dedicated toy store with Amazon, Walmart, and the like?
This is the big question. With Amazon, Walmart, and other big-box retailers do we really need another Toys “R” Us. When I was a kid, Toys “R” Us was where we went to buy anything toy related. New ride-on, bike, LEGO kit, or NERF blaster? Time for a Toys “R” Us run! These days, most parents will just visit Amazon or Walmart when shopping for their little tyke.
We already went through Christmas 2018 without Toys “R” Us, and I’d say many families didn’t even notice. While I want Toys “R” Us to make a comeback for nostalgic reasons, there are still those who prefer to drive to a store to buy products instead of ordering online. While Walmart and other retailers have picked up the slack where Toys “R” Us left void, there could still be room for a new toy store in the mix. Only time will tell if this venture is worth the investment, but I know I’ll be visiting the store, even just for old time’s sake.
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