Toys R Us attempts to return to Macy’s, led by WHP Global

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Toys R Us and its mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe are trying to make another strong comeback ahead of the holiday season, after the brand filed for bankruptcy and closed all of its 800 US stores four years ago.

From this month through mid-October, the brand is opening stores in every Macy’s store in the United States, Macy’s said in a statement Monday. Toys R Us stores will be between 1,000 and 10,000 square feet, with locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and San Jose.

But the industry trends that contributed to Toys R Us’ initial downfall are still in place. Although consumers have been buying more and more dollar toys every year since 2019, according to a June report from the NDPa research company, buys increasingly happening online.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017, worn down by nearly $8 billion in debt and growing competition from online rivals. Two years later, he tried to come back, relaunching his website and opening two physical stores in Houston and Paramus, NJ But the pandemic had other ideas. As of January 2021, both reopened stores were closed, although online stores remained open. Last December, he opened a new flagship store at the American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ, but the mall ran into financial difficulties.

In August, under new ownership of WHP Global – a brand management company that bought a majority stake in Toys R Us in March — the toy seller embedded on a new e-commerce partnership with Macy’s. At the time, Macy’s pledged to open physical Toys R Us stores in 400 of its locations in 2022.

The marriage between Macy’s and Toys R Us has resulted in increased toy sales for Macy’s and new life for Toys R Us.

In his revenue report for the first three months of this year, Macy’s said toy sales doubled from the same period last year. During the last three months of 2021, Macy’s said toy sales had tripled from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Welcome to the first holiday season without Toys R Us

“Macy’s is looking forward to bringing the Toys ‘R’ Us experience to life in our stores,” Nata Dvir, Macy’s director of merchandising, said in a statement, adding that the response from customers has been “incredible.”

In 1987, the highest paid CEO in the United States was Charles Lazarus, the founder and leader of Toys R Us, receiving $60 million. After serving in the military during World War II, the district native opened a baby furniture store, believing that an ensuing baby boom would make children’s retail a success. He soon discovered he was selling made toys for better deals.

Lazarus lived long enough to see Toys R Us seek Chapter 11 protection, dying in 2018 at the age of 94.

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