Toy store chain Toys R Us is returning to the U.S. retail landscape, possibly before the 2021 holiday season, although its brick-and-mortar outlets may be different than the ones from the past.
WHP Global, a brand management company, gained Toys R Us, Babies R U and mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe with its purchase of the controlling interest in Tru Kids, CNBC reported. WHP plans to open multiple U.S. outlets, said chairman and chief executive officer Yehuda Shmidman.
In addition to traditional Toys R Us stores, WHP may create pop-up stores, locations within stores, and shops at airports, Shmidman said. Malls will be a lesser part of WHP's strategy. "There are so many malls that will no longer be in the future, so we don't need to be there. But we could be in malls that do have traffic," Shmidman said.
Toys R Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was liquidated in 2017, and its intellectual property and brands were purchased by Tru Kids. Its efforts to revive Toys R Us faltered with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic wreaking havoc on people's incomes and mandated shutdowns for public health and safety.
Although Toys R Us and Babies R Us is no longer in the United States, it has nearly 1,000 branded locations in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe, in more than 25 nations.