Return of the giraffe: Toys “R” Us planning comeback with rebrand, focus on technology

After failing to embrace e-commerce, the new toy retailer will make it a priority

TRD NATIONAL /
Feb.February 17, 2019 12:00 PM

(Credit: iStock)

Toys “R” Us went belly-up in part because of its reluctance to adopt to the growth in e-commerce and a failure in invest in the customer experience. Now the retailer is hoping to turn those past weaknesses into strengths as it relaunches under a new brand.

Some 1½ years after Toys “R” Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, former executives of the firm are opening a new company called Tru Kids, according to Forbes. The new company will be the parent company of Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us, and it owns the rights to mascot Geoffrey the giraffe and a number of Toys “R” Us toy brands.

Aside from rebranding, the new retailer will have a bigger focus on e-commerce and technology, according to Forbes. How that will look remains to be seen: Tru Kids is still finalizing its business plan and hasn’t settled on a single retail approach.

Tru Kids plans to open 70 stores in Asia, Europe and India, markets that have acted as parallel universes for retailers facing losses in the United States. [https://therealdeal.com/chicago/2018/12/29/why-china-is-a-parallel-universe-for-toy-retailers-like-toys-r-us/] It has not yet announced plans for a U.S. footprint, according to Forbes.

Toys “R” Us shuttered its U.S. stores after filing for bankruptcy in September 2017. It was one of the first big-box retailers to fall due to the popularity of online shopping. Its failure contributed to the retail vacancy problem, even as its former stores flew off the shelves. [Forbes] — Joe Ward


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