Toys R Us to return?


According to a fresh report from Bloomberg, former Toys “R” Us executive Richard Barry, now the CEO of Tru Kids Inc., is shopping around plans to resurrect the brand in the form of six stores and a website.

If his promising pitch comes to pass, the physical locations would be about a third the size of the original stores with 10,000 square feet. Moreover, they would have more interactive experiences, such as “play areas,” and exercise a business model of not paying toymakers until consumers actually purchased their products.

It’s the ‘play areas’ that make this sound like they could actually have a functional plan. Shopping online for toys is very helpful, extremely efficient, and sometimes a crap-shoot; no matter how good the picture of a toy is, you can’t tell certain things just from looking at one (like, for example, whether the blessed thing will shred after five minutes’ worth of play by a determined eight-year-old). Having the toys physically present is the major advantage of having a dedicated toy shop, so it makes sense for them to want to lean into that.

Whether or not it works, however… I don’t know. Hot Air is suggesting here that the play area may get a bunch of deniable business from adults, which is, yeah, fair. To be fair, we’re the ones buying the toys, ain’t we?

Moe Lane

1 Comment

  • Luke says:

    In fairness, it wasn’t that the Toys R Us model failed, it was that mismanagement by a succession of CEOs (who earned bonuses based on stock price and market share) caused the company to take on crushing debt for short-term advantage.
    Supposedly, stock holders “demanded” that their investments become worthless. The CEO and corporate board were just bowing to shareholder wishes. (Funny that.)

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