Almost 12 full months after it collapsed spectacularly, Toys R Us looks set to rise up from the ashes, pull itself back up off the canvas, and swing its doors open to Australian customers once again from next week onwards. Y’know, sort of.
The giant toy retailer fell apart in flames last July, with the company being placed into the hands of liquidators, forcing the closure of 44 stores and leaving some 700-odd employees out of work.
But from next week the brand will be revived in Australia thanks to a licensing deal struck between US owning corporation Tru Kids and Australian company Hobby Warehouse.
That will largely take the form of an online store for the time being, which will begin shipping products Australia-wide from June 12th. As part of that, New Zealand shoppers will also be able to get hold of products from the global retailer for the first time as well.
The opening of the online store will be followed by the establishment of what they’re calling “experience centres“; physical locations that will likely differ significantly from the big box-style stores of Toys R Us’ halcyon days.
Hobby Warehouse commercial advisor Kevin Moore stated the reopening represented a refocused approach for the brand in Australia.
Previously, the Toys R Us and Babies R Us business model in Australia was focused primarily on large physical retail stores which had high fixed costs and extended periods of relatively low sales due to seasonal factors.
Going forward, the business model for Australia and New Zealand will be online focused, with smaller and fewer physical ‘experience centres’ that allow children and their families and friends to see and touch our products.
So there you go. Toys R Us is dead no more. Long live, etc.Source: News.com.au
Image: Getty Images / Matthew Horwood