In August, the toy industry got the good news that Macy’s was opening Toys R Us departments in 400 of its locations. That announcement was followed by a lot of silence. No information has been released on the vital question: Is it Toys R Us or Macy’s that is doing the buying?
To find out, I contacted veterans who are familiar with both retailers. I was surprised to learn that they didn’t know. Frustrated, I turned to a very reliable source who is savvy about all things Toys R Us. That person didn’t know either but agreed to do some digging.
Based upon what my contact found, it appears that Toys R Us is not involved in the mechanics of purchasing for or maintaining the department. Rather the Toys R Us’ brand owners, WHP Global, simply licensed the rights to Macy’s. The latter can use the Toys R Us name, the trade dress, Geoffrey the Giraffe, and any private label names.
It is therefore not a deal between two retailers but an agreement between a retailer, Macy’s, and the intellectual property owner, WHP Global.
So the answer is: Call on the Macy’s buyer if you want to place your toys in the new Toys R Us departments.