Can A New CIO Help Toys”R”Us Up Its Omni Game?

Toys "R" Us has a new CIO.

Toys aren’t just plastic action figures anymore. Now, they run the gamut from thousand-part Lego sets to digital media franchises that have no physical aspects at all. To bridge the gap between the two and gain a firmer hold on its omnicommerce operations, Toys”R”Us is bringing in the big guns.

In a move that continues its ongoing effort to move its online sales from its outsourced origins to an internal operation, Toys”R”Us has hired a new chief information officer to guide the initiative. Phil Newmoyer, formerly CIO and senior vice president at Serta Simmons Bedding, will join the toy and entertainment retailer, and by the way Toys”R”Us talks about the range of responsibilities Newmoyer will have, his hiring doesn’t come a moment too soon for the company.

“[Newmoyer] will lead the IT portion of our eCommerce platform transition work, in addition to other strategic initiatives, including global system standardization and the development of customer-facing technologies to make our stores easier to shop,” a Toys”R”Us spokeswoman told Internet Retailer.

CIO explained that Newmoyer steps into a position that has been left unfilled since Toys”R”Us’ last CIO, Dion Rooney, left the position to take up a role at HBC Digital in the summer of 2015. Concerning the timing of the company’s decision to onboard all its eCommerce operations and the vacuum left at a critical executive position, it’s a minor miracle that Toys”R”Us has managed to keep the ship afloat without a CIO to steer clear of the rocks inherent in such a large-scale transition.

“There isn’t an easy solution for that unless [Toys”R”Us does] something radical, like reserve ahead or fill more items from distribution centers with the ability to deliver goods to homes or stores very quickly,” Forrester Research Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told CIO. “The bigger issue is that the buys for holiday toys happen nearly a year out, and Toys”R”Us only gets a fraction of what’s available.”

Newmoyer’s first official day was Monday (May 2), and he’s had all week to look at his new company’s problems.

Next Monday, it’s time to get to work.


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