Toys R Us could soon be resuscitated and brought back to its former glory as it signs a deal with a new major investor.
Toys R Us’ parent company TRU Kids has just sold a controlling stake to WHP Global, a New York-based investment and management firm with ambitions of building a global portfolio of brands.
According to Forbes, WHP’s chief executive Yehuda Shmidman has high hopes for Toys R Us, which collapsed in spectacular fashion in 2017.
“I couldn’t dream of a more powerful brand to invest in,” Shmidman said.
“Clearly e-commerce opportunities are substantial, but that’s just where it starts”.
Shmidman, who brings with him vast financial resources and a wealth of experience running retail brands, wants to once again make Toys R Us the “go-to destination and authority in toys” and plans to create a new omnichannel shopping experience for the brand.
TRU Kids, which was created by a group of institutional investors after it collapsed four years ago and holds the rights the company’s name and property rights, has struggled to revive the brand in recent years.
Their first attempt involved launching experimental stores under a ‘retail as a service’ platform enabling brands who sell in store to actively manage their instore experiences and analyse how their in-store experience translate to online sales.
This new model saw “the hottest toy products and brands” pay a subscription to Toys R Us to include their products and “immersive”, “highly interactive” experiences instore, but will take 100 per cent of the revenue.
Its model gained some traction before COVID forced stores to close, but the brand also launched a tie-up with US giants Target and Amazon to sell its toys online.
According to Shmidman, his company is looking “to build one of the largest and best portfolios of brands in the world,” and has around $1 billion to do so.