‘This is great news!’ Toys R Us announces return to the UK four years after going bust

The Simpsons predicts the closure of Toys R Us

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Both Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us will reopen branches in Britain from 2022. Yesterday, the brand announced it has signed a long-term exclusive licence agreement to relaunch physical stores in the country.

Toys “R” Us will launch digitally in Australia after reopening physical branches in 2019, while the company will reintroduce bricks and mortar shops to the UK.

The toy shop went bust four years ago after it struggled to keep afloat amid the fall of the high street and the rise of online shopping.

It proved increasingly difficult in Britain, and across the world, for physical stores to catch up with online retailers.

The toy brand’s branches in both the UK and the US closed their doors permanently back in 2018.

But the Canadian arm of the brand survived.

Now, thanks to Toys “R” Us Canada’s success, as well as the relaunch of the brand in Australia, Britain will see the iconic toy shop return to its shores.

Yehuda Shmidman, Chairman and CEO of parent company WHP Global and Toys “R” Us, said: “We selected Toys ‘R’ Us ANZ as our partner to expand into the United Kingdom because of their proven success in launching with us in Australia under the leadership of their CEO, Dr Louis Mittoni.

“Toys ‘R’ Us today is a vibrant business with over 900 stores and e-commerce sites across 25 plus countries generating over $2billion a year in sales and growing, especially with the new launches underway for both the US and UK markets.”

Dr Louis Mittoni, CEO and Managing Director of Toys “R” Us ANZ, added: “Tailoring our successful Australian relaunch plan to the UK echoes the success of other e-commerce ‘platform play’ businesses that have delivered growth and value due to their ability to quickly and cost effectively expand their software, processes, partner relationships and brands into new countries.

“Since Toys ‘R’ Us returned 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.”

While the process of relaunching physical stores in the UK goes underway, Britons will soon be able to buy Toys “R” Us products online via the brand’s Australian site.

The confirmation that Toys “R” Us will be expanding to the UK will be good news for many Britons, especially as the speculation of its return already excited some back in August this year.

At the time, Doug Putman, owner of HMV, announced that he will buy the Canadian branch of Toys “R” Us and expand it to other countries.

The millionaire did not say where exactly he planned to launch more stores, but he stressed that he wanted to “drive the business forward”.

He said: “Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us are extremely strong brands that have been in great hands over the past three years.

“Since its split from the US, we’ve watched the way in which the company has grown and focused on the Canadian customer.

“Much has been achieved and we’re excited to help to drive the business forward.”

Mr Putman added that the brand will “continue to assess any opportunities that make business sense”, causing further speculation that it might relaunch in the UK.

Toys “R” Us’ expansion has already begun as the brand has announced its products are available to buy online through the American retail giant Macy’s.

It will also be launching over 400 branches in Macy’s stores across the US over the coming months.

In August, many social media users seemed happy at the prospect of Toys “R” Us’ return.

One person said: “Doug Putman please bring Toys ‘R’ Us back to the UK.”

In response to a tweet that asked, “What do you want back?”, another person wrote: “The kid in me says Toys ‘R’ Us UK!”

One person commented: “This is great news!!!”

Another fan simply wrote: “Awesome.”

Yesterday, Twitter user Steve Allery added to the discourse, saying: “I hope this means the return of the Christmas advert more than anything.”

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