Toys R Us Stores Could Be Coming Back to the U.S.
Rejoice, Toys R Us kids everywhere! The iconic and beloved toy store chain could be making a comeback in 2021.
On Monday (March 16), brand management company WHP Global announced that they have acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids, the parent company of the Toys R Us, Babies R Us, and Geoffrey the Giraffe brands.
WHP reportedly plans to open a number of Toys R Us stores again in the United States just ahead of the 2021 holiday season.
Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and chief executive officer of WHP, says this could come in the form of flagship stores, pop-up shops, airport locations, or mini-stores inside other retailers’ shops.
According to market research company NPD Group Inc., overall U.S. toy sales surged 16 percent in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press reports.
“We’re in the brand business, and Toys R Us is the single most credible, trusted and beloved toy brand in the world,” Shmidman says. “We’re coming off a year where toys are just on fire. ... And for Toys R Us, the U.S. is really a blank canvas.”
Tru Kids bought the brands and intellectual property after Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2017. Since acquiring Toys R Us, Tru Kids has attempted to revive the iconic toy store by opening two pop-up locations in the United States. Unfortunately, both locations closed due to poor mall traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As for their digital presence, Target powered the Toys R Us website for a short time, but currently, all purchases on ToysRUs.com are redirected to Amazon.
More than 700 Toys R Us stores outside of the United States are still open and WHP claims that the brand still generates more than $2 billion in global retail sales per year.