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Toys“R”Us to make UK return, as digital and physical retail deal agreed

·2-min read
A former Toys R Us branch (press image from WHP)
A former Toys R Us branch (press image from WHP)

The parent firm of Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us has agreed a long-term licence agreement with a partner that will re-introduce the chain to the UK in 2022.

There is a plan for web sales to UK shoppers to start over the next several months. The companies involved did not give details of when shops would open here, but a joint statement said Toys"R"Us ANZ has the licence agreement to run “digital and physical retail commerce” for the brand in the UK.

The brand’s UK stores, around 100, closed in 2018, with close to a quarter shut due to a company voluntary arrangement that was agreed.

The rest were impacted after the UK arm of the business entered administration. That came after an unsuccessful attempt to sell the toy retailer giant as a going concern.

WHP Global, a New York-headquartered brand acquisition and management firm, said Toys“R”Us ANZ will run the UK operation.

Toys“R”Us ANZ, previously called Funtastic, relaunched the chain in Australia in 2019.

Yehuda Shmidman, the chairman of WHP Global and Toys"R"Us, said: “Toys"R"Us today is a vibrant business with over 900 stores and e-commerce sites across 25-plus countries generating over US$2 billion a year in sales and growing, especially with the new launches underway for both the US and UK markets."

Louis Mittoni, boss of Toys"R"Us ANZ, said: “My team and I are looking forward to developing technical and commercial relationships with UK-based vendors and partners and to engage with the many loyal Toys"R"Us former customers and fans in the UK."

The companies involved in the partnership said the UK has the largest toy market in Europe and the fourth largest globally.

Toys"R"Us ANZ intends to start web sales to UK shoppers over the next several months, initially from existing operations in Australia, whilst it works to establish local teams, offices and logistics sites during 2022 and 2023.

In March WHP Global announced that it had acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids Inc, parent company of brands such as Toys “R”Us and Babies “R”Us.

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