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Toys 'R' Us to return to the UK

29 October 2021

Iconic toy chain Toys 'R' Us is set to return to the high street next year with a brand new outlet – four years after tumbling into administration.

The retailer collapsed in 2018 and closed all of its 100 UK branches, but it's announced plans for a relaunch.

Owner WHP Global has signed an agreement with Toys 'R' Us Australia to lead the brand's revival in the UK.

Online sales will begin over the "next several months" and will initially operate out of Australia.

UK teams, offices and logistics will be set up from 2022 with "physical retail" as well as online shopping.

Toys 'R' Us launched in the UK in 1985, but in 2017 the US parent company filed for bankruptcy after debts reached more than £3.5billion.

It's been a difficult and rather challenging year for Toys 'R' Us. Its UK arm went into administration on February 28, 2018 after failing to attract a buyer, with thousands of workers losing their jobs.

At the time, Moorfields, the administrator managing the business, said it had made “every effort” to secure a buyer for all or part of the Toys 'R' Us brand, however all offers had collapsed.

In a statement, Simon Thomas, at Moorfields, said: “We have made every effort to secure a buyer for all or part of the Company’s business. This process attracted some interest, but ultimately no party has been able to move forward with a formal bid prior to the expiration of the stated deadline."

But despite its collapse, the chain continued to run more than 900 stores across 25 countries – many of which are still trading.

"We are grateful for the hard work of Toys 'R' Us staff during this very difficult period and will be providing support where we can to those who have been made redundant,” the statement added.

Are you excited for the return of the toy chain? Let us know in the comments below

In March this year, brand management company WHP Global announced it has acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids, the parent company of the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brands.

Tru Kids bought the intellectual property for Toys 'R' Us in 2017, after the chain's US arm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2017.

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

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."

In August, the owner of HMV announced he would buy the Canadian branch of the toystore.

HMV owner Doug Putman has said he would buy Toys 'R' Us in Canada, as well as its sister company, Babies R Us.

“Toys 'R' Us and Babies R Us are extremely strong brands that have been in great hands over the past three years,” Putman said.

“Since its split from the US, we’ve watched the way in which the company has grown and focused on the Canadian customer.

“Much has been achieved and we’re excited to help to drive the business forward.”


Emma MunbodhMoney Editor - The Mirror 


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