In 2018, Toys R Us liquidated its businesses in the United States after the company had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in September 2017, disappointing millions of people who had either bought toys there as children or bought toys for their children at the famed outlet.
But now, a former Toys R Us executive is hoping to resurrect the once-dominant children’s franchise, whether creating freestanding stores or shops inside other stores. The Associated Press spoke with Richard Barry, CEO of Tru Kids Brands, which he founded on January 20 with other former Toys R Us executives. Barry said, “These brands are beloved by customers,” adding that the stores he and his collaborators envision would be roughly one-quarter the size of the original Toys R Us stores.
The Tru Kids Brands execs posit that roughly half of the Toys R Us market share is still available, despite the competition from Walmart, Target, and Amazon.
AP reported, “Barry said he and his team have been reaching out to toy makers and have received strong support. But he acknowledged that many had been burned by the Toys R Us liquidation.”
Tru Kids plans to open 70 stores this year in Asia, Europe and India. It will also have a domestic plan for the U.S. and place a large emphasis on growing the brand in the United States, but the details haven’t yet been announced. Tru Kids seems to have timed its debut announcement well, because the annual Toy Fair New York kicks off this weekend. The largest U.S. toy trade show could be a great time to showcase its plans for the future … Part of the reason for the demise of Toys R Us was that customers just weren’t coming to specialty toy stores. Instead, they purchased items online or from big-box stores. Even brand loyalty and a strong rewards program couldn’t save Toys R Us. In the end, a large reason for the downfall of Toys R Us was because it didn’t invest in new technology and an updated customer experience.
LifeSite News reported in March 2018 after Toys R Us announced it would close its 735 American stores and the company pointed out that declining birth rates were a salient cause for its downfall, that in one sense the company had only itself to blame, as it had been a frequent contributor to Planned Parenthood. LifeSite News wrote:
In August 2010, Life Decisions International (LDI) identified Toys R Us as a boycott target for its contributions to the abortion giant. In December of that year, LDI removed Toys R Us and several other companies from the list, a development it credited to pro-life activists who pressured the companies to reverse course.
According to LDI, a company can get itself removed from the list by either ceasing Planned Parenthood donations for at least five years, or pledging to disqualify the abortion giant from future contributions. The toy company’s direct support for Planned Parenthood ended, but its indirect support continued.
Toys R Us still operates roughly 800 stores outside the United States.