Geoffrey the Giraffe is officially making a comeback. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September of 2017 and closing or selling all of its 800 stores last June, the long-rumored Toys “R” Us comeback is officially on.
Tru Kids Brands, a company founded by former Toys “R” Us employees, took control of the former company’s brands (including Geoffrey) on January 20. Richard Barry, a 33-year Toys “R” Us veteran who was chief marketing officer when the company dissolved, told the Associated Press that the company would come back in physical stores and e-commerce.
The Toys “R” Us brand is still prominent globally, reporting over $3 billion in global retail sales last year in over 900 stores and e-commerce across Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Back home, retailers such as Target and Walmart aggressively expanded their toy offerings this holiday in order to fill the void left by the departed retailer, but Barry is confident a new Toys “R” Us can still compete.
“Despite unprecedented efforts to capture the U.S. market share this past holiday season, there is still a significant gap and huge consumer demand for the trusted experience that Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us delivers,” he said in a statement. The company estimates that 40 to 50 percent of the market left abandoned by Toys “R” Us remains up for grabs.
In the U.S., the new Toys “R” Us will likely incorporate stores around 10,000 square feet, a quarter of the size of the now-shuttered stores. But the limited details of the company’s plans suggest its first focus will be on opening 70 stores overseas and adding new e-commerce channels.
Barry promised to bring the brands back to the U.S. in time for next year’s holiday season. Whether that’s as e-commerce only or in physical stores remains to be seen.