About a year after shutting down operations in the US, the remainder of the extinct toy chain is poised to return to the holiday season, opening about half a dozen US stores and an e-commerce site, according to people familiar with the subject .
Richard Barry, a former executive at Toys "R" Us who is now CEO of the new entity Tru Kids Inc., has launched his vision to reincarnate the chain for toy makers, including an industry conference this week, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the plans are not public.
The stores are expected to be about 10,000 square meters, about one-third the size of the brand's large stores that closed last year, people said. The sites will also have more experiences, such as leisure areas. Initial costs could be minimized with a consignment model in which toy manufacturers ship the goods but are not paid until consumers buy them, some people said.
A Tru Kids spokeswoman said the company was not ready to share details about its US strategy.
It remains to be seen how much momentum the retailer's return will bring to the toy industry, including giants like Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. The original Toys "R" Us, the only national toy chain, left a huge hole when it went down. It generated about $ 7 billion in sales per year in the US at more than 700 locations, including the Babies "R" Us brand. Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. have stepped up to fill the void. They all expanded the variety of toys and marketing, including an Amazon toy catalog. Other non-traditional networks entered the category, including grocery stores and Party City Holdco Inc.