STORE SPACES

Toys ‘R’ Us looks for comeback under new name

BY Marianne Wilson

Toys “R” Us is back — sort of.

The bankrupt retailer liquidated its U.S. business last year, closing all stores. Its lenders took control of the company’s intellectual property, including the Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and Geoffrey brand names. Several former Toys “R” Us executives have launched a new company, “Tru Kids Brands,” that will manage the iconic brands along with more than 20 established consumer toy and baby brands.

Richard Barry, the former global chief merchandising officer at Toys “R” Us, is serving as president and CEO of Tru Brands Kids.

“Despite unprecedented efforts to capture the U.S. market share this past holiday season, there is still a significant gap and huge consumer demand for the trusted experience that Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us delivers,” said Barry. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the next chapter of Toys “R” Us by launching a newly imagined omnichannel retail experience for our beloved brands here in the U.S. In addition, our strong global footprint is led by experienced and passionate operating teams that are 100% focused on growth.”

Tru Kids is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey. The management team includes Matthew Finigan, who previously served as VP and treasurer of Toys “R” Us as CFO; James Young, former executive VP and general counsel of Toys “R” Us, as executive VP of global license management & general counsel: and Jean-Daniel Gatignol, former senior VP of Toys “R” Us, as senior VP of global sourcing and brands.

“We have an incredible team focused on bringing Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us back in a completely new and reimagined way, so the U.S. doesn’t have to go through another holiday without these beloved brands,” added Barry.

In a statement, Tru Kids said further details of its U.S. business strategy will follow. According to a report by CNBC, the new company is exploring multiple options, including freestanding stores, pop-up shops and partnerships.

Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us, which are still doing business outside the U.S., generated over $3 billion in global retail sales in 2018 through more than 900 stores and e-commerce businesses in 30-plus countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

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