New leadership and a new strategy are promised under Tru Kids Brands, the company that now owns Toys R Us, Babies R Us and Geoffrey the Giraffe.
After months of behind the scenes wrangling, the Toys R Us brand is back under a new company – Tru Kids Brands. The new entity owns Toys R Us, Babies R Us and Geoffrey the Giraffe as well as the other in-house brands.
Toy World reports that the president and CEO of Tru Kids Brands will be Richard Barry, the former global chief merchandising officer at Toys R Us. The hope is that the new business will be able to tap into the goodwill of customers and gap in the market that the retailer left.
“As we start the year there is a lot to be excited about,” he said. “We have a healthy and growing global business with great partners that are 100% focused on opening more stores and e-commerce channels in their respective markets. We have an experienced team with unmatched industry expertise in the toy and baby space and a clear understanding post-holiday of the opportunity that still exists in the US marketplace.”
The toy trade website highlighted some of the scepticism from those within the toy industry:
The news was met harshly on social media. Thierry Bourret, a toy industry business development specialist, commented on LinkedIn: “So, you go bankrupt leaving masses of debts, while paying yourself a bonus for overseeing the debacle you created. And let’s not forget pay no or very little compensation to the staff. Then you wait a few months and create a new business with the same financiers, same management and start again? Seriously?”
Posted alongside a host of other reactions on Toy World’s social media accounts, one reader commented: “It was a slimy manoeuvre to wipe the slate clean, and come back without debt, but all the same people so they can milk the cow dry one more time.”
Another reader summarised: “What’s the best way to get rid of your responsibility to thousands of workers, millions in debt, and an array of ruthless cost cutting measures, but then come out on top by creating a model solely beneficial to the IRR you show your investors…they found the model and it seems the bankruptcy court just allowed it to happen. They should at least work off their debts and make some sort of fund for all those poor employees they short changed.”
No mention has been made of the UK business, which folded around the same time as the US business.