Is Toys ‘R’ Us starting its comeback in Kroger’s aisles?
Kroger has announced a partnership to open Geoffrey’s Toy Box popups this holiday selling season featuring brands that have been exclusive to Toys “R” Us.
Starting in November, Geoffrey’s Toy Box branded merchandise will appear in nearly 600 stores across Kroger including in its Ralphs, Smith’s, Fred Meyer and namesake banners with displays featuring the chain’s mascot, Geoffrey the Giraffe. The departments will feature a selection of 35 children’s toys ranging in price from $19.99 to $49.99. They include toys from Animal Zone, Imaginarium, Journey Girls, Edu Science, You & Me and Just Like Home.
“Geoffrey’s Toy Box delivers a unique shopping destination within Kroger stores,” said Robert Clark, Kroger’s senior vice president of merchandising. “We’re excited to offer Geoffrey’s Toy Box this holiday season to provide our customers with the opportunity to purchase a selection of toys once exclusive to Toys “R” Us.”
Toys “R” Us liquidated in June after failing to restructure under bankruptcy protection. The chain’s intellectual property including Geoffrey and other trade names, a portfolio of more than 20 exclusive brands, registry lists and website domains, were set for auction in October, but the retailer’s lenders, Solus Alternative Asset Management and Angelo Gordon, assumed the assets instead. The hedge funds made the decision after determining that they’d likely get a better payback by attempting to revive the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us businesses.
Bloomberg on Friday reported that the hedge funds are now looking to raise capital with a plan to reopen physical stores under the Toys “R” Us name in 2019. The retailer’s leases and distribution centers were sold in the liquidation.
A comeback comes as several retailers are investing more in the toy category to capture the void created by the exit of Toys “R” Us. Target and Walmart are expanding their toy and baby aisles, Party City is opening a number of Toy City seasonal shops, and FAO Schwarz and KB Toys are plotting comebacks.
- Kroger Brings Geoffrey’s Toy Box to Nearly 600 Stores for Holiday Season – Kroger
- Toys R Us’ Geoffrey is back: His ‘toy box’ will be featured at Kroger this holiday season – USA Today
- New Toys ‘R’ Us Owners Mull Physical Stores Next Year – Bloomberg
- Geoffrey the Giraffe makes comeback in Kroger aisles – The Associated Press/The Seattle Times
- Toys ‘R’ Us to rise from the ashes of bankruptcy, but should it? – RetailWire
- KB Toys plans a Christmas comeback – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do Geoffrey’s Toy Box holiday popups make sense for Kroger? Are pop-ups a healthy way to start Toys “R” Us’ comeback?