The once bankrupt retailer Toys ’R’ Us is expanding by “land, air, and sea” as it looks to rebound next year with stores in airports, cruise ships, and in department stores.
It has increased its global retail footprint by more than 50% with openings in the United States, United Kingdom, India, Dubai, and Mexico, and now has more than 1,400 stores and e-commerce sites across 31 countries. Toys ‘R’ Us is partnering with Go! Retail Group in its expansion efforts. Next month, it will open in November at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport through a partnership with Duty Free Americas just in time for the holiday shopping season. As for cruise lines, Toys ‘R’ Us said it will offer a wide range of toys and exclusive
cruise-themed merchandise for children and families during their voyages. Toys ‘R’ Us was founded in 1948 and was the first big box toy store in the market, but after a difficult holiday season, it declared bankruptcy in 2017 and ultimately wound down through a liquidation.” “People can have positive nostalgia about brands they knew as children even though the company failed. Many companies have been successful by purchasing the rights to iconic brands and re-investing a business model that is more current and/or more efficient.” Joseph Iacono, Chief Executive Officer, Crescit Capital Strategies, tells GlobeSt.com that retailers’ bricks-and-mortar strategies must be creative and targeted.
“For retailers that are disintermediated by e-commerce, the old days of blanketing markets with stores will not be effective,” he said. Patrick Collins, Partner, Farrell Fritz, P.C., tells GlobeSt.com, “Through the bankruptcy case of the Toys R’ Us companies, the bundle of intellectual property rights comprising the Toys R’ Us brand was sold to a purchaser that acquired the brand free and clear of the debt that had saddled the Toys R’ Us companies. “The transaction left the new owner of the brand free to deploy its capital into the brand as it sees fit and pick the times and places for the reintroduction of the brand to the public,” Collins said. “Whether the investments being made by the new owner into brick-and-mortar venues pan out remains to be seen, but whether the new investment succeeds or fails will not be on account of any legacy debt from the Toys R’ Us bankruptcy.” Daniel Gielchinsky, Partner and Co-Founder, DGIM Law, tells GlobeSt.com that
bankruptcy does not always translate to a complete exit of a brand that was predominantly brick-and-mortar from the marketplace. “The American shopper often seeks out nostalgia,” Gielchinsky said. “When a brand has a certain amount of recognition or cachet, a new owner that purchases the intellectual property rights to the brand will often bring the brand back to some form of its former glory. “Toy stores are a natural place for families to spend time together, but the last 20 years has demonstrated how difficult that strategy can be when toys are available online. As long as the labor market remains resilient against current economic dynamics, we expect consumers to regain their confidence and spend more time in neighborhood centers and the highest quality malls.”