Toys R Us's new owner plans to open stores

Originally published at: Toys R Us's new owner plans to open stores | Boing Boing


We’re in the brand business

Well you’re certainly not in the toy business. I have a feeling that this guy would happily sell the brand name to Irwin Mainway if paid enough.

Also, I wonder if Paulie ever sold the “Bamboo Lounge” brand name to another restauratur after his own “private equity” play.


This news coming after TRU Brands closed their two concept experience stores in malls a few months ago.

It might work if the stores stay around the size of those old KB Toys mall locations. What really ate them alive outside of Walmart/Target/Amazon is their stores being too large for their own good. Their last few years people avoided their baby goods and those goods took up 25 to 33% of the space in their stores. A lot of their space was taken up with bikes, pools, swingsets and other outdoor-sy stuff which everyone else did well except for them. Maybe they can try to compete by creating their own model that’s similar to what fashion retailers did with fast fashion and/or developing their own exclusive toylines/properties to compete with the big three (kinda like how Lego developed Ninjago and Bioncle).


“We’re in the brand business, and Toys R Us is the single most credible, trusted and beloved toy brand in the world…”

Except that it’s not a toy brand. It’s a big box brand.

Good luck with that, sir.


I used to work for Gymboree (adorable kids clothes!). Our Mormon CEO (it’s relevant because one of the slimy things he did was have us purchase his relatives tiny, failing women’s Utah-based clothing company… bizarre… the most commonly used adjective amongst their advertising and customers was “modest”) took us private.

Bain Equity bought us in 2010. Drained us, loaded us with debt and bankrupted us in 2017. Came out “leaner and meaner”. Had terrible leadership and went completely dead banruptcy a couple years later. Fucking evil, from top to bottom.


It also might’ve helped if they’d known what they were doing (but they didn’t).

ETA: What’s weird (or maybe not?) is if you go to the websites of Radio Shack, or Pier 1, or Linens N Things you get an active website that has all of those brands listed on the top plus some other extinct brick & mortar stores. Obviously all of those ended up underneath one corporate umbrella (or webmaster, anyway) but I’m wondering what (if anything) happens if one were to actually try and buy anything?


The leveraged buyout was just the frosting on that cake. They had all sorts of issues after Lazarus retired.


Obviously, it’s better to lend your brand to nonseasonal junk.


Yeah, just tried going to Radio Shack’s site and I see what you mean. It’s interesting because by looking at the zombie brands listed, it’s told me that some things I didn’t know died presumably had – for example The Franklin Mint. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of their ads, but I hadn’t heard they were gone. I always loved their ads for pricey chess sets sold a piece a month which you could “cancel at any time”. Because who needs all the pawns anyway?


Exactly. As if the previous incarnation of Toys’R’Us was so pure, and we failed to protect it.

They probably capitalized on the rise of children’s toys as mass-produced plastic junk more-so than any other retailer that comes to mind.


I am confused. Will this news help me find more Boba Fetts or not??


All I could think of when I saw Rob’s picture was the one here that was turned into a giant liquor store.


Maybe this will be their year, if they can fill it with bikes.Bicycles are harder to find, more expensive thanks to biggest cycling boom in decades, shops report -


Ooof, at least the stores here in Germany were bought off by Smyths Toys, a large european toy store chain from Ireland.

It just makes me mad considering how many stores both regional and national have cratered due to these PE vultures. And then some dork comes along pretending it’s just about brand rather than you know actually selling what people want at prices they actually can afford. Seriously, this is why I despise capitalism as it inevitably rewards the mediocre and the incompetent.


I honestly have not clue what the structure is here in Canada. Last I saw they still seemed to be intact, however I have not needed to go into one for 5 years or so.

They were bought by a financial holding company back in 2018 when US and UK operations declared bankruptcy. The Canadian branch came out of bankruptcy some time later in 2018, but that’s because they were actually propping up the US operations.

Despite having kids, we really haven’t gone to our local Toys R Us in ages either. Although they cite over 1 billion in sales annually, that maybe isn’t that much given the range of products they offer and number of stores they have? Amazon has net sales of over 4 billion in Canada.

But Canada is different. We seem to have held onto our retailers longer than the rest of the world, maybe that is because we are late adopters of technology?


Now that you mention it, the one nearest to me moved into a vacated Sports Authority. We also have a former Circuit City nearby that’s now a beverage store (but not a Total Wine).

The nearest Kmart was purchased by a church, and right when the building renovations seemed to have finished, Covid happened.

I don’t know what the mall managers will do with all the empty JC Penney’s and Sears stores around here…

There’s a shopping center not far from here that opened with great fanfare maybe 17 or 18 years ago, right when and where Washington Metro extended the Blue Line eastward. It’s almost all torn down to the ground (just like the US Airways Arena that used to be there); last I checked all that was left was the movie theater.


It wasn’t T’R’U’s purity I was referring to.

I know :smiley: I was agreeing with you (or trying to, at least)