There is some good news for kids across America who long for a store dedicated to toys. Toys R Us is coming back and promising to provide a different shopping experience than before. While there has been much talk about resurrecting the brand, changes had to be made for it to be successful.
When a group of former executives won some of the liquidated assets during an auction, they knew they would rather bring the company back than sell it. Richard Barry is leading the pack and intends to be the CEO of the new establishment called True Kids Brand. The new company will combine Toys R Us, Baby’s R Us, and Geoffrey Brands.
It’s been a difficult road for the toy company. In September 2017, children across the country mourned as their beloved toys store, Toys R Us, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The retailer began operations in April of 1948 and was founded by Charles P. Lazarus, the man also responsible for the Lazarus store chain.
Toys R Us closed 182 locations throughout the United States and Britain. However, they still had 700 stores in operation in Asia, Africa, and Canada. On March 15, 2018, Toys R Us obtained permission from the courts to liquidate all their assets, and on June 29, 2018, they closed their doors.
Geoffrey the Giraffe has become a household name, and the loss of one of the few toy stores left seemed to sadden the hearts of many. Why did this iconic chain close? Officials stated that stores like Target and Walmart were extending their toy departments, and few wanted to come to a location just for toys when they could get everything in one stop. Also, the convenience of online shipping and global marketplaces, like Amazon and eBay, also caused the store to lose revenue. As a result of the bankruptcy, over 30,000 people lost their jobs.
However, since their departure, it’s evident that people want them back. Former executives from Toys R Us devised a plan. The headquarters for the new brand will be in Parsippany, New Jersey. Barry has been working with toy makers to write the wrong. He is trying to get companies to take a chance on them once again. The support received has been overwhelming. The hope is that the new locations will be up and running by the holiday season in 2019.
How are they doing to do things differently to ensure success? The previous locations were about 40,000 square feet. The overhead to maintain those stores caused them to drive the prices of merchandise to inflated levels. By focusing on a more intimate experience, they hope to have smaller, 10,000 square foot locations. Learning from their past mistakes may be what it takes to resurrect this beloved brand.