What’s Going On with Toys R Us? Adweek Has a Clue

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“I don’t think the people who have picked up the licensing on the cheap are intending to [substantially reinvent the brand],” Kodali said. “I think they’re intending to milk it for its last worth for another season or two without having to be encumbered by the debt.” – Sucharita Kodali, VP, Principal Analyst with Forrester

The behavior surrounding Toys R Us (Tru Kids Brands) has been, to say the least, puzzling. Starting with bold predictions that they were bringing the brand back to a misguided venture with Kroger and the now bankrupt Shopko followed by vague plans and ending with an announcement to a toy industry conference that they are opening two stores in 2019. The anti-climax to a string of off center announcements.

What are Tru Kids Brands and its investors doing? A possible answer may be found in an article by Adweek writer Risa Lacy. The article, "Toys R Us Could Fill a Retail Void, but Only After Reinvention", takes a leery look at the possibility that a new manifestation of the toy chain can be successful.

The author notes that when questioned on their plans, a Tru Kids spokesperson stated: "We aren’t in a position to publicly share details on our U.S. strategy at this time." This is a pretty late date not to be able to share details. 

Throughout the article, the author uses terms like "Relic", "damaged goods", "brand hangover", "angry suppliers", and "stiffed".

But where it gets interesting is when she quotes Sucharita Kodali, VP, Principal Analyst with Forrester, a market research company. It seems Ms. Kodali may have the answer to what is going on:

“I don’t think the people who have picked up the licensing on the cheap are intending to [substantially reinvent the brand],” Kodali said. “I think they’re intending to milk it for its last worth for another season or two without having to be encumbered by the debt.”

And it is that quote that probably explains all the strange behavior around Tru Kids Brands and its plans for Toys R Us. There are no plans, just an attempt to recoup a lost investment.

 

One thought

  1. I think they are a “done deal” The way they treated their Employees and Suppliers, while they all walked away with big bonuses. if different executives were running it, it may have a chance but not with the people that are trying to bring it back——-same old same old

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