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From 800 US stores to 600 pop up locations

 

Toys “R” Us has seen another bad year (the worst…) – but will return in 600 pop up locations for this Christmas shopping season.

For 60 years mega-retailer Toys “R” Us was THE destination for all-things playful and educational for children in the USA – and across the globe. At the peak of its success, Toys “R” Us operated around 800 US stores and another 800 or so internationally, cornering much of the toy market. It was “considered a classic example of a category killer”*

But things started to go sour several years back, when other US “mass merchants like Walmart, Target and Amazon”* caught on, and caught up. Toys “R” Us, Inc. has been carved up, re-financed and various new initiatives haven’t improved the bottom line. Toys “R” Us hasn’t shown an annual profit since 2013, and reported a “net loss of US$164million in the quarter ended April 29, 2017. It lost US$126million in the same period in the prior year.”* In September 2017 Toys “R” Us, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy – within 9 months all US stores had closed. The UK stopped trading in April and Australian stores were gone by August 2018.*

This month a new venture called Geoffrey’s Toy Box announced they would be selling some of the Toys “R” Us former private labels in 600 pop up locations across the US, within the nation’s largest supermarket chain Kroger. The announcement wasn’t “entirely a surprise, given the bankrupt retailer’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe, in April made an unexpected appearance… at a toy industry trade show.”# The Geoffrey’s Toy Box brands offered in Kroger supermarkets this month were once exclusive to Toys “R” Us, and have been resurrected “after the funds that took control of the retailer’s assets reversed plans on auctioning off its intellectual property, opting to try to resuscitate the brand instead.”#

I suspect there’s quite a strategy behind this November announcement – and wonder where did they find the inventory ? To supply 600 pop up stores (just in time for the Christmas shopping season) is no mean feat…

 

*source :       wikipedia.org / Toys “R” Us

#source :      CBSNews.com / Toys R Us to open holiday pop-up shops

 

 

 

 

images :    Google Images – Toys R Us, Geoffreys Toy Box, Kroger

 

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