Retail

Toys R Us May Return With Smaller Stores

Ahead of this year’s holiday season, defunct toy chain Toys R Us could be making a comeback: The remnant of the company will reportedly open a shopping website along with roughly six U.S. stores, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

Tru Kids Inc. CEO Richard Barry, who is an ex-Toys R Us executive, has been putting forward a vision for toymakers to bring the chain back, said sources. The stores could be about a third of the size of the big-box stores that closed in 2018 at roughly 10,000 square feet. The locations would reportedly offer more experiences, such as play areas.

The report also noted that startup costs could be kept lower through a model that has toymakers ship goods but not receive payment until shoppers purchase the products. However, a Tru Kids spokesperson said the firm was not ready to offer public details on its strategy in the U.S.

The original national toy chain left behind a gaping hole: Toys R Us has been bringing in roughly $7 billion in yearly sales in the U.S. via over 700 stores, including its Babies R Us brand, Bloomberg reported. Last year, news surfaced that major retailers were stepping in to fill the void.

In August, Walmart said it was expanding its toy assortment by 40 percent online and by 30 percent in its brick-and-mortar stores. The retailer was rolling out “thousands” of additional items to provide shoppers with more options. In a press release at the time announcing the move, Walmart’s VP of Toys Anne Marie Kehoe said the retailer has always been a place to find toys, but was “making even bigger investments in the category to ensure [it has] the widest selection of toys at the best prices.”

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