Toys ‘R’ Us looks like it could stage a return to Australian shores after the toy company re-emerged under a new parent company Tru Kids Brands.
Tru Kids CEO, and former Toys ‘R’ Us global chief merchandising officer Richard Barry, is reportedly in talks with potential partners in Australia to revive its operations Down Under.
“We are actively looking for partners in the region, and have recently visited Australia to discuss opportunities with prospective partners to bring Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us back to the region,” Barry told InsideRetail.
And Australia is not the only country that will see the beloved brand return: there are plans underway to open 70 stores across Asia, Europe and India, but plans for the US market are currently unclear.
Tru Kids Brands, the new company, comprised of returning Toys ‘R’ Us executives and owns the IP to Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, Geoffrey the Giraffe, as well as many of the brands sold through the liquidated business.
But, despite the return, it’s likely that Toys ’R’ Us may still struggle to recapture market share in Australia, thanks to consumers shifting their spending away from industry retailers in favour of online.
This is despite once having market share of over 20 per cent as the largest retailer in the industry, according to IBISWorld senior industry analyst Kim Do.
Voluntary administration in 2018
The toy retailer went into voluntary administration in May last year, just months after the US and UK retail giant’s collapsed.
Directors of the company made the decision after the withdrawal of the final bidder for the sale of the Australian business.
It finally shut 44 branches and let around 700 staff go in August 2018.
The closure of Toys ’R’ Us is a familiar narrative of several well-known brands that have shut up shop in Australia.