It was a sad day for generations when Toys ‘R’ Us announced it was closing all 800 of its U.S. stores in March 2018 after 60 years of business. Now, following revival rumors and a confirmed rebranding, the brand’s parent company is apparently moving towards a new plan.
Toys ‘R’ Us is set to open half a dozen stores and an e-commerce site by the holiday season this year, according to AdAge.
The information comes from an anonymous source “familiar with the matter,” the site reports. The sources state former Toys ‘R’ us executive and current parent company Tru Kids Inc. CEO Richard Barry has pitched his new vision at an industry conference this week.
The rebranded stores will be 10,000-square feet. The sources explained this is about one-third the size of the original stores we grew to know and love. The new locations will also have more hands-on experiences such as a play area.
Toys ‘R’ Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017, struggling to pay almost $8 million in debt before closing in March 2018. The new stores’ costs would be minimized through consignment inventory. This means toymakers ship the goods, but they won’t receive payment for them until Toys ‘R’ Us customers purchase them.
While the U.S. originally shuttered stores in 2018, many other countries were still able to purchase from the branded locations. Tru Kids licensed more than 700 Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us stores and e-commerce sites. These locations are based out of more than 25 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Tru Kids announced entered a licensing agreement with Hobby Warehouse Pty Ltd in Australia. As a result, Toys ‘R’ Us and Baby ‘R’ Us returned to Australia and made their debut in New Zealand. The brands will only be sold online at first, but Tru Kids stated Hobby Warehouse shared plans to launch physical “experience centres” by 2020.
AdAge contacted Tru Kids for comment regarding the U.S. plans, but the site reports “the company wasn’t ready to publicly share details on its U.S. strategy.”
More on Toys ‘R’ Us
Less than a week after their initial announcement in March 2018, one Toys ‘R’ Us fan launched a GoFundMe in attempt to save the store.
The campaign creator was none other than billionaire Bratz doll maker Isaac Larian who launched the social media hashtag #SaveToysRUs. Shortly after, he took his charge to GoFundMe along with other investment partners to raise $1 billion in hopes of buying the failing toy brand. The group pooled their own $200 million to try to save the brand, but did so with no luck.
Larian wasn’t the only one wishing for a return. Last June, former Toys ‘R’ Us CEO Jerry Storch was in contact with multiple investors to see if a reboot of the beloved toy chain would be possible.
Official news of a revival first surfaced in October. Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. lenders, who took control of the company when it was in its liquidation stages, were working towards the company’s revival, according to court records.
Instead of the bankruptcy auction, the company proposed a new reorganizational plan to add its assets into a new company. One that will keep the former’s current license agreements.
The following week, it was reported Toys ‘R’ Us would make its return with its famous mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe front and center, taking on the name Geoffrey’s Toy Box. The news followed the mascot’s Dallas Toy Preview appearance where his cape sported the company’s new logo and name.
You never know what you might see at Dallas Toy Preview! Geoffrey??? Back from vacation??? #FallToyPreview #GeoffreysBack
Originally, it was reported Geoffrey’s Toy Box would open in November 2018. It’s unclear if Tru Kids Inc.’s new store plans for this holiday season will fall under the same rebranding effort.
Are you stoked for Toys ‘R’ Us to make its return? Let us know in the comments below!