Toys "R" Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to shed $5 billion it had accumulated in debt and reinvest the $400 million it was spending a year to pay that off, into its stores, CNN reported.
Plans are to open a Toys R Us store in The Galleria mall in Houston, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Ideally, the new Toys "R" Us will give kids (and trusted adults) the chance to interact with new toys and allow brands to show off their wares to an appreciative audience, which will translate into real-world sales. He says brand partners and more details will be announced in coming weeks. The company hopes the new locations will be "must-visit" destinations for parents and their children.
The joint venture also said Thursday it will work with the worker-advocacy group United for Respect to prioritize hiring some of the more than 30,000 former Toys R Us employees who lost their jobs after the toy store filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and more than 740 USA stores closed previous year.
Toys "R" Us property's parent company, Tru Kids Brands, has announced (in news we first heard at Toy Wizards) they are teaming up with b8ta, a "software-powered retailer", to bring back the beloved toy store later this year.
Toymakers will also be encouraged to design and set up branded shops within the new stores, creating another potential revenue stream for Tru Kids. "The stores will be highly interactive with new events and activities every day, from seeing toys displayed out of the box to test before making a purchase, to visiting different brand stations to driving learning through play embracing STEAM, or just having fun with Geoffrey the Giraffe in the open playspace". In the past, a store like Toys R Us would buy product from each individual brand or brand representative, then sell each product at their own risk in a very traditional retail manner. The retailer, buckling under pressure from Amazon and several billions of dollars of debt, liquidated its US business as well as other regions months after filing for Chapter 11 reorganization in the fall of 2017.
We know not everyone likes change, but this plan for a smaller, more modern toy store makes sense. Barry is the former global chief merchandising officer at Toys "R" Us.