My contacts tell me that they anticipate Toys R Us going public this year. Why; well, for two reasons. One; because the stock market is roaring (whether it should be is another matter) and there is no better time to go public than when people want to throw money at you. Two; KKR, Bain Capital and Vornado Realty have owned Toys R Us for five years. That is typically the time for private holdings like this one to go public.
Is this good for the toy industry; I think yes. It will give Toys R Us the capital it needs to, among other things, grow its store counts, improve the look of its stores and do more promotion. That means more sales and hopefully an even more robust assortment of products on the shelves. That is definitely good for manufacturers and not necessarily so good for Target and Wal-Mart.
Kudos is truly due to Jerry Storch and his team at Toys R Us. When Toys R Us goes public look for Storch to be appropriately rewarded.