Following the downfall of Toys R Us and Babies R Us, JCPenney is planning to carry additional baby products at its stores located near former Babies R Us locations. Starting at the end of August, the retailer will stock more strollers, cribs and car seats, along with a selection of items from companies like Dr. Brown’s and Fisher-Price, Reuters reported.
“We’ve strategically chosen these 500 JCPenney locations because the majority of the stores are near a specialty baby retailer that has recently closed its doors,” the company said.
Parents used to turn to Babies R Us for items such as diaper bags, pacifiers and cribs before it was forced to close stores after its parent company, Toys R Us, went bankrupt. According to reports, JCPenney’s new strategy could boost brands such as Mattel’s Fisher-Price, which has seen its sales decline since Babies R Us’ downfall.
Toys R Us had over 700 locations in the U.S. as of April, including those under the Babies R Us banner — it had approximately 1,600 stores globally. According to the Wall Street Journal, Toys R Us’ liquidation was the largest retail closure since Sports Authority closed nearly 500 stores. Since its leveraged buyout, Toys R Us had been burdened with over $5 billion in debt. Competition from eCommerce retailers, such as Amazon, and discount stores, like Walmart, hasn’t helped the company either.
Beyond the U.S., Chief Executive David Brandon said Toys R Us may liquidate its operations in France, Spain, Poland and Australia. In addition, the company hoped to find a buyer for its Canadian business, which it planned to package with 200 stores in the U.S. “We’re putting a for-sale sign on everything,” Brandon told the WSJ. “Frankly, all anyone has to do is offer one dollar more.”