Toys’ R’ Us is BACK! Chain to make a comeback to Britain’s High Streets and could start selling online again within WEEKS – four years after shutting shops
Toys R Us is to make a comeback in Britain more than four years after closing all of its stores.
The retail chain, which has more than 900 physical stores in Australia and New Zealand, confirmed it is coming back to UK.
It could start selling toys online again to British customers in just weeks with the stores coming back from next year.
The retail chain, which has more than 900 physical stores in Australia and New Zealand , confirmed it is coming back to UK
The chain ‘will start selling products in the UK online later this year through its existing e-commerce operations in Australia’, according to magazine Kidscreen.
This means Britons could be buying Toys R Us toys online in as little as nine weeks time.
When the brand closed four years ago, many Toys R US fans were devastated about the news.
Britons could be buying Toys R Us toys online in as little as nine weeks time. Shoppers are pictured at a Toys R Us stand in 2017
Head of Toys R Us ANZ, Louis Mittoni, said: ‘Since Toys R Us’ return to Australia in June 2019, we have scaled quickly as customers returned to the much-loved brand and our e-commerce model has proven its success.
‘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’.
When was Toys R Us founded and how did it collapse?
In 1948, war veteran Charles Lazarus opened his first baby furniture store, Children’s Bargain Town, in Washington, D.C.
Two years later, Lazarus began to sell toys and he soon realised that unlike furniture, toys fell out of fashion or broke – prompting parents to return to the store to buy more.
In June 1957, he restructured his business and opened his first store solely dedicated to toys – creating the Toys R Us brand.
By the early 1980s Toys R Us looked to diversify and the company branches out into children’s clothing when it opened Kids R Us stores in Paramus, New Jersey, and Brookyln, New York.
The firm also went international when it opened outlets in Canada and Singapore.
The chain came to the UK in 1985 and now boasts 105 outlets across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
In 1998, it realised the potential of the internet and allowed people to buy items online from toysrus.com.
Toys R Us’ UK arm was plunged into crisis last year after its American parent company declared bankruptcy in the US and Canada.
Bankruptcy proceedings in the US work differently to the UK, with companies able to seek court backing for a plan to rescue their business if they have the support of lenders.
At first Toys R Us said stores in Britain would not be affected but soon afterwards bosses here announced they would axe hundreds of jobs and a quarter of the chain’s 105 stores in a bid to balance the books.
Its bid to push the changes through under a so-called company voluntary agreement hit a stumbling block, however, because of a row over a £30million black hole in its pension scheme.
Toys R Us needed approval from the Pension Protection Fund, which refused to give it unless the firm injected nearly £10m into its retirement pot.
After a tense showdown, bosses eventually agreed to pay £3.8million this year and another £6million over 2019 and 2020.
That deal was supposed to give the company breathing space, but it plunged into administration in 2018.