Toys "R" Us is like the zombie equivalent of old-school brick and mortar toy store chains. No matter how many times it seems like the beloved company is going out of business forever, it comes back better and more resilient than ever before.
According to a fresh report from Bloomberg, former Toys "R" Us executive Richard Barry, now the CEO of Tru Kids Inc., is shopping around plans to resurrect the brand in the form of six stores and a website.
If his promising pitch comes to pass, the physical locations would be about a third the size of the original stores with 10,000 square feet. Moreover, they would have more interactive experiences, such as "play areas," and exercise a business model of not paying toymakers until consumers actually purchased their products.
Even with Amazon, Target, and Walmart swooping into to fill the massive void left by the extinction of Toys "R" Us, well-established and lucrative toy sellers are still ready and willing to provide inventory to the stores should they make a comeback.
“This market needs a self-standing toy store, that’s for sure,” Isaac Larian, CEO of MGA Entertainment Inc., told Bloomberg. MGA is a parent company to brands like Little Tikes, L.O.L. Surprise! and Bratz dolls.
In March 2018, it was announced that Toys "R" Us had filed for bankruptcy and would be closing all of its 800 locations in the United States. Not long after, major liquidation sales got underway as the company's competitors (like KB Toys) promised to pick up the slack. That summer, hope was restored when former CEO Jerry Storch was exploring a possible "reboot" for the chain. In the fall, Toys "R" Us canceled plans for a bankruptcy option in the hopes of an ambitious reorganization plan.