New York, United States—Iconic American toy store Toys “R” Us is changing hands once again, this time going to an investment firm that promises to expand the chain that once dominated the market.
Leading brand acquisition and management company WHP Global announced on Monday it had taken control of the troubled business known for its Geoffrey the Giraffe mascot and backwards “R” in the name.
The deal comes two years after the retailer along with the Babies “R” Us toy and clothing store was acquired in a liquidation sale by Tru Kids Inc. which New York-based WHP said it had taken a controlling interest in.
“Our investment in Toys ‘R’ Us reflects our belief and passion for the brand,” WHP chairman and chief executive Yehuda Shmidman said.
“This is a natural fit for WHP, as we can leverage our global network and digital platform to help grow Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us around the world.”
He noted that the category is up 16 percent and “consumer demand for toys is at an all-time high.”
In an interview with CNBC, he said he wanted to reopen Toys “R” Us stores in the United States, ideally by the next holiday season.
Shmidman is familiar with the brand as he has served as vice president of Tru Brands since 2019. His company also manages the clothing brands Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud.
Tru Brands had tried to reopen Toys “R” Us stores but was thwarted by low mall traffic and shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us generate over $2 billion in global retail sales annually through nearly 900 branded stores and ecommerce sites in over 25 countries across North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, the statement said.