In every story of less, there is usually someone who gained. In the case of the massive Toys R Us bankruptcy, children’s apparel retailer The Children’s Place could end up unexpectedly on the winner’s list.
According Retail Dive, Senior Research Analyst Susan Anderson of investment bank B. Riley FBR put out a report earlier this week saying that Babies R Us being suddenly out of the market means The Children’s Place has a chance to add as much as 2 percent to its revenue. In particular, the hole in the market coincides with the brand’s launch of a new line of infant products, Bundles Baby Place.
Babies R Us will leave an approximate $300 million hole in the industry — $120 million of which was comprised of sales from baby-brand Carter’s. According to Anderson, Carter’s could make about half those sales via selling to other retailers. Other bands (smaller and less well-known players), she noted, will likely suffer through the liquidation of Toys R Us. And the folding of those brands could stack up to another chance for Carter’s to grab up market share.
The Children’s Place has benefited before from being still-standing while a noted competitor folded. CEO Jane Elfers said in a call with analysts, “[P]ast experience indicates that we generated $150,000 in sales on average in the first 12 months in our stores that are co-located in malls where Gymboree closed. Gymboree’s current round of liquidations represents approximately $30 million of opportunity for The Children’s Place.”
Though some apparel brands are forecast to rake in some extra funds, toy brands are eyeing a future that looks iffy- at best. Anderson notes that “wholesale partners are eager to work” with companies like Hasbro and Mattel to get a hold of “the companies’ iconic brands and market insights.” However, Hasbro and Mattel have a $1.3 billion problem to solve in a world without Toys R Us, and it is unknown if anything in the market could even hope to fill the hole that Toys R Us leaves behind.
Market-watchers expect the high-speed to come apart in the nation’s premier toy seller, which will mean that Target, Walmart, Amazon will have a lot more power to drive the market and use toys as loss leaders when it serves them to — during the holiday season, for example.