Author Topic: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)  (Read 32843 times)

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #225 on: October 3, 2018, 05:51 AM »
The news of the demise of Toys R Us may have been premature...

Toys 'R' Us lenders cancel auction, plan to revive brand

(Reuters) - The top lenders of Toys ‘R’ Us have decided to cancel the bankruptcy auction of its brand name and other intellectual property assets and instead plan to revive the Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us brand names, a court filing on Monday showed.

The bankrupt retailer’s debtors aim to open a new Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us branding company that maintains existing global license agreements and can invest and develop new retail shops.

The lenders also plan to expand its international presence and further develop its private brands business.

The bids were not superior to the plan to revive the brand as it did not offer “probable economic recovery” to creditors as well as benefits to stakeholders who would maintain the brands under the new independent U.S. business, the court filing showed.

Toys “R” Us filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September last year, hoping to restructure some $5 billion in debt, much of which stemmed from a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout by private equity firms in 2005.

But the company changed course in March, saying it would sell its operations in Canada, Asia and Europe, and shut down in the United States.

Under the intellectual property auction, the company had planned to sell its assets, including the brand names of Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, registry lists, website domains, Geoffrey the Giraffe and other assets.
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Offline Phrubruh

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #226 on: October 3, 2018, 09:34 AM »
I'm going through TRU Saturday withdrawals.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #227 on: October 11, 2018, 07:32 PM »
Check out this press release, because Toys R Us is coming back!


Geoffrey, LLC’s Assets to Be Acquired by Its Secured Lenders

WAYNE, NJ – October 2, 2018 – Geoffrey, LLC, Toys “R” Us, Inc.’s intellectual property holding company subsidiary, announced today that it is moving forward with a plan for substantially all of its assets to be acquired by a group of investors led by Geoffrey, LLC’s existing secured lenders.
The announcement was made following a five month marketing effort by Boston-based Consensus, an investment bank retained to market the assets of Geoffrey, LLC, that resulted in several formal and informal proposals to acquire the intellectual property assets. After considering such proposals, it was determined that the proposal from the existing term lenders was meaningfully higher and better than any other global bid or the sum of the bids received on individual assets. The transition of the business to its new owners is pending approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court and all major creditor constituencies are supportive. Geoffrey, LLC thanks all parties that participated in discussions with the company over the prior months, particularly those that submitted proposals, for their thoughtful and diligent engagement.

Geoffrey, LLC, as reorganized, will control a portfolio of intellectual property that includes trademarks, ecommerce assets and data associated with the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us businesses in the United States and all over the world, including a portfolio of over 20 well-known toy and baby brands such as Imaginarium, Koala Baby, Fastlane and Journey Girls. The reorganized company will own rights to the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands in all markets globally, with the exception of Canada. It will also become the licensor of the brands to the company’s existing network of franchisees operating in countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and in South Africa.

In addition to continuing to service these markets, the new owners are actively working with potential partners to develop ideas for new Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in the United States and abroad that could bring back these iconic brands in a new and re-imagined way. Geoffrey LLC will provide additional detail on this front as it becomes available.




There are additional rumors circulating about the brand, and that they may launch pop-up shops for the holiday season that will be located within a national retail chain, with the possible name "Geoffrey's Toy Box".  My personal theory is that it may be a partnership with Macy's stores.
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Offline Scockery

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #228 on: October 11, 2018, 10:17 PM »
Back by the people who doomed it from what I understand

The CEO of MGA won't have anything to do with Geoffory's Toy Box.

https://amp.northjersey.com/amp/1514735002

Offline Darth_Anton

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #229 on: December 31, 2018, 12:58 PM »
I've noticed all my former TRU now housing Halloween City and Toy City. Does anyone else have this? Haven't stopped in to check out Toy City yet? Is it worth a look?
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Offline Muftak

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #230 on: December 31, 2018, 05:01 PM »
I hit the one near me with my boys a few weeks back to see if it scratched the itch left by our lost trips to TRU. It was a letdown, the layout and selection were more like the TRU Express store from the Outlet  mall.

As far as Star Wars, they had roleplaying stuff and the goofy stuff no one asked for, a few Vintage Wave 1 figures, and the Solo Home Media 4-pack (only place I have seen that in the wild.)

It was weirder to see all the Halloween stuff hanging around after Thanksgiving!

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #231 on: February 11, 2019, 12:05 PM »
Check out this article that ran in Business Insider today:

Toys R Us is rising from the dead


-Toys R Us is back in action.
-The newly founded company Tru Kids Inc. on Monday announced its intent to resurrect the brand this year.
-The toy retailer closed all its US locations in the summer of 2018.

Toys R Us isn't ready to get banished to the island of misfit toys.

Months after the toy chain's demise, Tru Kids Inc. — also known as Tru Kids Brands — has gobbled up Toys R Us, Babies R Us, and their mascot, Geoffrey.

A statement from Tru Kids on Monday cited the former toy retailer's "brand power" and "loyalty," saying the Toys R Us and Babies R Us lines "generated over $3 billion in global retail sales in 2018 through more than 900 stores and e-commerce businesses."

Tru Kids was founded this year to salvage the retailer's still valuable brands. Richard Barry, the company's CEO and president, worked at Toys R Us for 33 years, rising to the rank of global chief merchandising officer.

"Despite unprecedented efforts to capture the US market share this past holiday season, there is still a significant gap and huge consumer demand for the trusted experience that Toys R Us and Babies R Us delivers," Barry said in the statement from Tru Kids.

The toy retailer's bankruptcy filing and subsequent store closures and layoffs sparked woes at toy makers like Hasbro and Mattel during the holiday season. But this isn't Toys R Us's first resurrection act. Speculation about a return swirled in October when its brand auction was canceled. And in November, Toy R Us reorganized and launched a series of pop-up events at Kroger.

The Tru Kids statement said the veteran Toys R Us executives Matthew Finigan, James Young, and Jean-Daniel Gatignol would also have leadership roles in the new company.

"We have an incredible team focused on bringing Toys R Us and Babies R Us back in a completely new and reimagined way, so the US doesn't have to go through another holiday without these beloved brands," Barry said.


Take this as you will.  It reads like a glorified press release.  I would wait for an announcement of store locations opening before getting truly excited about this news.
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Offline Matt_Fury

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #232 on: February 11, 2019, 12:31 PM »
If they are able to get out from all the debt, revitalize the business model, this could be a really good thing.
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Offline Chris M

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #233 on: February 11, 2019, 01:38 PM »
There are so many lessons to learn from what happened to TRU that never needed to.  Sales, competitive pricing, rotating inventory...so many things they need to think about.
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Offline Nicklab

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #234 on: February 11, 2019, 02:00 PM »
The larger issue is that brick and mortar retail is suffering in the age of online retail. It’s not just in one sector like toys.  This new chain needs to be ruthless in their inventory management, yes.  But they also need to make the stores experience destinations.

I actually had one mom and pop toy store near me that did pretty well.  One of their key offerings was for kids birthday parties.  Parents want things like that for kids, especially since so many kids are transfixed by their electronic devices.  Events are going to have to be a big part of the marketing plan if they don’t want to repeat history and have yet another toy chain in hock to some hedge fund that has no interest in the culture of the company.

However, the timing is interesting. Toy Fair starts this weekend. And if the brand is ready to relaunch, this weekend could be make or break for them to sign deals with the major manufacturers which could be crucial to them securing financing for the launch of new stores.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 02:20 PM by Nicklab »
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Offline Muftak

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #235 on: April 11, 2019, 05:57 PM »
I was at TRU with my kids today too. My 8-year old pointed out a flyer on the door that said "final 7 days" and we concurred that this would probably be our last time in the store.

Ours looked the same as yours. I took them up on a Scout Y-Wing (hadn't bought one yet) for $8, my sons got Lego tape for cheap and a knock-off Beyblade stadium for a buck, and there was not really much else we cared to look at.

The lines seemed long, but the service desk pulled us out of line to get rung up there. I guess as long as you didn't have a cartful you were okay...I saw an Amish family with two carts loaded with every Pixar "Cars" playset they had left (which must have been fifty or so.) Not sure if those are headed for a tourist gift shop or what, but the service desk was good about getting the people with just a couple things out the door.

That particular TRU has been my stomping grounds since it opened in 1989...I bought my first POTF2 figures there, fondly remember preordering my Nintendo64 there when that was a new and exciting option...and much more recently spending time hanging out in the "Thomas and Friends" aisle while the boys played with the train table. It will be missed.

The better part of a year has passed, and this past weekend my boys and I returned to the store...which has just reopened as an Ollie's. :(

It was kind of surreal. The place was just as packed as last June, and while the layout of the sections and aisles was different, Ollie's didn't bother to remove TRU's wall art and floor decals.

My oldest son commented that most of the toys in the toy aisle were the same ones we saw last year, too. I explained that Ollie's bought all the stuff that customer's didn't.

The lines were incredibly long, so I resolved that it was just a "looking" trip, but there was really nothing there that jumped out at us. The only Ollie's I had been to before were 20+ miles away from where we live, so at least we have one local now.

But we still really miss TRU.

Offline Rob

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #236 on: April 11, 2019, 06:16 PM »
My local one in Chicago is an Ashley Home Store now... so depressing.

I went back home to Florida and the one I went to as a kid is still there and empty...

Offline Nicklab

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #237 on: April 11, 2019, 08:41 PM »
Of the three former locations that I pass by on a regular basis, only one space has been taken over and operating as a new chain.  And it's a Raymour & Flannigan furniture outlet.  Another location is set to become a Big Lots, and I'm not sure about the third.

I'm still wondering how things are going to play out with this so-called relaunch of the brand.  I thought we might hear something following Toy Fair in February, but there really hasn't been anything substantial.
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Offline Diddly

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #238 on: April 12, 2019, 04:46 PM »
The shopping centers where TRUs were in my area are all pretty much dead. The one near my place had a Five Below that recently closed down, and a bunch of mattress stores that shuttered too. All that's left is Dave and Busters and a Bed Bath and Beyond. The other TRU shopping center across town isn't doing much better, as the Target in that center was closed down, as was the Best Buy, Office Max, and Pier One.

The TRU carts and signage are still all over the place, and I'd be lying if I said I hadn't considered taking one, but like... where would I put it?
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Offline Jesse James

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Re: Toys R Us (Or: Die, Dinosaur, Die!)
« Reply #239 on: April 13, 2019, 08:47 PM »
Ollie’s usually sucks just a heads up lol, but I was driving around to them buying ship 2-packs from the legacy line like they were going outta style.  Same with the Kmart stores that got those.  It was a good time, but not a typical Ollie’s stop by sure.  The store is generally a post apocalyptic hellscape.
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