Toys “R” Us is changing hands again, less than two years after Tru Kids Inc. bought it in a liquidation sale.
WHP Global, a New York-based brand management company, announced Monday it has bought a controlling interest in Toys “R” Us’ parent company and will now manage Tru Kids’ business and growth. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
“We are thrilled to be taking the reins of the world’s leading toy brand at a time when the category is up 16% and consumer demand for toys is at an all time high,” said WHP CEO Yehuda Shmidman in a press release. Toy sales have soared as bored families look for something to do.
Plans for the brand weren’t immediately revealed. However, Shmidman said the sale was a “natural fit” for WHP because it can use its “global network and digital platform to help grow Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us around the world.”
Tru bought a bankrupt Toys “R” Us in 2018 and later opened two new physical locations in New Jersey and Texas. However, they permanently closed in January with the company blaming the pandemic for its troubles.
The two stores were supposed to represent a reinvention for the brand because they were smaller, sold fewer toys and the layout had interactive and playground-like environments for brands. Ultimately, the plan was to open around 10 of them in malls.
Toys “R” Us’ website remains operational and more than 700 stores outside of the United States are still open. WHP claims that the brand still generates more than $2 billion in global retail sales.
WHP targets struggling retail brands and tries to revive them. Authentic Brands Group, Marquee Brands and REV all operate similarly as they find an increasingly number of well-known stores find themselves as appetizing acquisition targets because they’re in financial distress as consumer habits change.
Retailers Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud are already part of WHP’s portfolio, which it says rakes in more than $3 billion in annual sales.