Business News: Toys 'R' Us to make a return in the United States as "Geoffrey's Toy Box"
As a follow up to Tuesday's news that Toys 'R' Us was preparing to return in some way, more news has popped up. First there is an official press release by Toys 'R' Us announcing that Toys 'R' Us related assets are being acquired by a group of investors "...led by Geoffrey, LLC’s existing secured lenders.". The press release goes on to say:
"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."
Adding some more information to this news is a post by The Toy Association with a profile on the new entity known as "Geoffrey's Toy Box" and a post by The Toy Queen featuring Geoffrey wearing a cape saying he is "Back from Vacation".
According to North Jersey.com the company is planning a small group of pop-up stores inside other retailers that will then pave the way eventually for larger stores.
While this may be happy news, the brand faces significant challenges with their planned return. At the Dallas Toy Show where Geoffrey appeared, some retailers were not happy about it. According to the New York Post the retailer still owes millions to various companies. One comment in the article states:
“We will NOT sell to any entity that’s owned by the hedge funds who put Toys ‘R’ Us into bankruptcy,” MGA Entertainment Chief Executive Isaac Larian told The Post. MGA makes one of the hottest toys on the market, L.O.L Surprise.
For now many of these plans seem to be more hypothetical than practical. Given that retailers like "Halloween City" and "Party City" are planning to have holiday toy sections to fill in the void left by Toys 'R' Us, they will face fierce competition should they enter the "pop up" store competition. More news as it is released.