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Toys R Us Lenders Launch New Venture to Revive Brand

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
TOYS R US retailer sold, closed U.S. stores earlier this year

Trade magazine The Toy Book reported on October 2 that TOYS R US holding company Geoffrey LLC will transfer all its assets to existing secured lenders, and that it will launch a new toy wholesale venture named Geoffrey's Toy Box, keeping the TOYS R US brand's "Geoffrey" mascot, as well as the corporate brand names and intellectual properties of the company.

Geoffrey's Toy Box will open as a pop-up store within a regional midwest retailer this November. According to a report in the USA Today newspaper, the new venture also plans to relaunch the TOYS R US and Babies R Us brand sometime in the future.

The USA Today report also noted that the Geoffey's Toy Box venture is operating out of the TOYS R US headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey. The venture attended the Dallas Toy Show last week, with former TOYS R US chief merchandising officer Richard Barry and a Geoffrey the giraffe mascot also reportedly in attendance.

TOYS R US sold or closed all of its remaining stores in the United States earlier this year, and sold its operations in Canada, Central Europe, and Asia.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2017. The company's Chief Executive David Brandon stated that the retail chain's earnings last year amounted to "less than half" of the US$600 million it typically earns in a year.

The company struggled to remain afloat after a buyout by equity firms KKR & Co. and Bain Capital, and real estate investment company Vornado Realty Trust in 2005. The buyout put a US$5.3 billion debt on the company.

Sources: The Toy Book (Maddie Michalik) via The Toyark, USA Today (Joan Verdon)

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