Toys R Us Set to Make a Comeback This Holiday Season
Toys R Us, the beloved toy store that brought joy and happiness to generations of kids across the nation, has announced the opening of two new stores this holiday season. One will be located in the Galleria Mall in Houston, Texas, while the other will reside in the Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey.Toys R Us declared bankruptcy last year, closing all its 800 stores across the United States. This left an $11-billion hole in the toy industry and cost over 33,000 people their jobs, coming only months after the death of the company’s founder, Charles Lazarus.
One of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Mr. Lazarus built the business by himself after serving in WW2, and retired when his company was at the peak of its success in 1994. Now, his beloved toy brand is set for a resurrection worthy of its founder’s biblical name. As Lazarus was brought back from the dead, so will Toys R Us return, albeit not in its original form.
The revamped version of the brand will be much smaller than the vast stores of yesteryear, and without those aisles full of every toy a young mind could imagine. The new chain’s selection of toys will instead be carefully curated. Tru Kids, the company that now controls the brand, intends to create “playground-like environments” inside the stores.
“With a 70-year heritage, the Toys R Us brand is beloved by kids and families around the world, and continues to play a leading role in the hearts and minds of today’s consumers,” Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids, said. “We have an incredible opportunity to entirely reimagine the Toys R Us brand in the US and are thrilled to partner with b8ta and key toy vendors to create a new, highly-engaging retail experience designed for kids, families, and to better fit within today’s retail environment.”
This new joint venture will test the waters with its first two stores. The project’s backers have hinted that, if they succeed, more stores could open in 2020 in flagship locations like New York and California.
"As a kid, my memory of Toys R Us was running up and down the aisles kicking balls and playing with the coolest toys,” Phillip Raub, co-founder and president of b8ta and Interim co-CEO of Toys R Us, said. “As the retail landscape changes, so do consumer shopping habits. But what hasn't changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply play. In partnership with Richard and his team, we are excited to bring back Toys R Us in an immersive way, focused on creating a fun and engaging experience for kids, and adults, too."
I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.
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