Toys”R”Us Moves Online For Oz Re-Entry
Embattled toy retailer, Toys”R”Us, has re-entered the Australian market, swapping its big-box store model for an e-commerce presence, launching June 12.
The news comes after Toys”R”Us Australia entered voluntary administration mid last year, after its parent company collapsed in the United States – closing all 44 stores, and axing 700 jobs.
The re-entry follows an exclusive licensing deal between Hobby Warehouse Pty Ltd in Australia and Toys”R”Us’ US parent company, Tru Kids Inc.
The deal will allow Hobby Warehouse to sell via the www.toysrus.com.au and www.babiesrus.com.au websites, going live this month.
Hobby Warehouse will initially re-launch the Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us brands online in Australia, with physical ‘experience centres’ slated after 2020.
The news comes weeks prior to the peak toy buying season, with Big W tipped to reveal details of its traditional toy extravaganza in coming days.
“Previously, the Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us business model in Australia was focused primarily on large, physical retail stores which had high fixed costs and extended periods of relatively low sales due to seasonal factors,” asserts Hobby Warehouse Commercial Advisor, Kevin Moore.
“Going forward, the business model for Australia and New Zealand will be online focused, with smaller and fewer physical ‘experience centres’ that allow children and their families and friends to see and touch our products.”
Products available to purchase online include Disney’s Star Wars and Marvel range, Spin Master, Mattel, Hasbro, John Deere, Hasbro plus more.
Hobby Warehouse is an independent locally-owned company, with a “long and successful” history of selling products online.
“Louis Mittoni ans his team have a strong digital vision and understand both the heritage of our iconic brands and how to evolve the shopping experience for the modern shopper,” remarks Tru Kids Executive VP of Global Licensing & General Counsel, James Young.
Tru Kids’ license partners currently operate over 700 Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us branded stores and e-commerce sites, expanding over 25 counties – with over US$3 billion of retail sales in 2018.