Toys "R" Us

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Toys "R" Us
Industry Retail
(as Children's Supermart)
June 1957;62 years ago (June 1957) (as Toys "R" Us)
October 2018;10 months ago (2018-10) (as Geoffrey's Toy Box)
Founder Charles Lazarus
DefunctApril 24, 2018 in the United Kingdom until 3 September 2019

June 29, 2018 in the United States (original)
August 5, 2018 in Australia until 11 June 2019

June 19, 2019 in


United States
Number of locations
807 (August 2018)
10 (by 2020; only 1/3 store size)
Area served
  • United States
  • Worldwide
RevenueDecrease2.svg US$ 11.5 billion (2016) [1]
Decrease2.svg US$ -36 million (2016)
Total assets Decrease2.svg US$ 6.908 billion (2016)
Number of employees
64,000 before liquidation [2]  (2017)
Parent Interstate Department Stores (1966–1978)
  • Babies "R" Us (1996–2018)
  • Kids "R" Us (1983–2004)

Toys "R" Us [nb 1] is a toy, clothing, video game, and baby product retailer owned by Tru Kids, Inc. (d.b.a. Tru Kids Brands) and various others. It was founded in April 1948, with its headquarters located in Wayne, New Jersey, in the New York metropolitan area.

Toy Thing to be played with

A toy is an item that is used in play, especially one designed for such use. Playing with toys can be an enjoyable means of training young children for life in society. Different materials like wood, clay, paper, and plastic are used to make toys. Many items are designed to serve as toys, but goods produced for other purposes can also be used. For instance, a small child may fold an ordinary piece of paper into an airplane shape and "fly it". Newer forms of toys include interactive digital entertainment. Some toys are produced primarily as collectors' items and are intended for display only.

Clothing Covering worn on the body

Clothing is a collective term for items worn on the body. Clothing is typically made of fabrics or textiles but over time has included garments made from animal skin or other thin sheets of materials put together. The wearing of clothing is mostly restricted to human beings and is a feature of all human societies. The amount and type of clothing worn depends on gender, body type, social, and geographic considerations.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Founded by Charles Lazarus in its modern iteration in June 1957, Toys "R" Us traced its origins to Lazarus's children's furniture store, which he started in 1948. He added toys to his offering, and eventually shifted his focus. The company had been in the toy business for more than 65 years and operated around 800 stores in the United States and around 800 outside the US, although these numbers have steadily decreased with time. [3] Toys "R" Us expanded as a chain, becoming predominant in its niche field of toy retail, and also branched out into baby supplies and children's clothing. At its peak, Toys "R" Us was considered a classic example of a category killer. [4] With the rise of mass merchants, as well as online retailers such as, Toys "R" Us began to lose its share of the toy market.

Charles Philip Lazarus was an American entrepreneur, executive, and pioneer within the retail toy industry. Lazarus founded the Toys "R" Us retail chain, which evolved from a children's furniture store he originally opened in Washington D.C. in 1948. He opened his first store dedicated exclusively to toys, which he named Toys "R" Us, in 1957.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

A category killer is a retailer that specializes in and carries a deep product assortment within a given category and through selection, pricing and market penetration obtains a massive competitive advantage over other retailers. Chains such as Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Staples are considered category killers.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 18, 2017, and its British operations entered administration in February 2018. In March 2018, the company announced that it would close all of its U.S. and British stores. The British locations closed in April and the U.S. locations in June. The Australian wing of Toys "R" Us entered voluntary administration on May 22 and closed all of its stores on August 5, 2018. Operations in other international markets such as Asia and Africa were less affected, but chains in Canada, parts of Europe and Asia were eventually sold to third-parties.

Chapter 11 is a chapter of Title 11, the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most prominently used by corporate entities. In contrast, Chapter 7 governs the process of a liquidation bankruptcy, though liquidation can be done under Chapter 11 also; while Chapter 13 provides a reorganization process for the majority of private individuals.

As a legal concept, administration is a procedure under the insolvency laws of a number of common law jurisdictions, similar to bankruptcy in the United States. It functions as a rescue mechanism for insolvent entities and allows them to carry on running their business. The process – in the United Kingdom colloquially called "under administration" – is an alternative to liquidation, or may be a precursor to it. Administration is commenced by an administration order. A company in administrative receivership is operated by an administrator on behalf of its creditors. The administrator may recapitalize the business, sell the business to new owners, or demerge it into elements that can be sold and close the remainder. Most countries distinguish between voluntary (board-decided) and involuntary (court-decided) receivership. In voluntary administrative receivership, the administrator is appointed by the company directors. In involuntary administrative receivership, the administrator is appointed by a judicial court. The legal terms for these processes vary from country to country, and the processes may overlap.

The company continues to operate as the licensor of the chain's international operations, but its lenders announced in October 2018 that it planned to re-launch the U.S. Toys "R" Us retail business in the future, citing the value of its brand. The lenders also partnered with Kroger to add "Geoffrey's Toy Box" (named after the chain's mascot) pop-up departments to selected locations in order to give Toys "R" Us a presence during the holiday shopping season.

Kroger company

The Kroger Co., or simply Kroger, is an American retailing company founded by Bernard Kroger in 1883 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is the United States' largest supermarket chain by revenue, the second-largest general retailer and the seventeenth largest company in the United States. Kroger is also the fifth-largest retailer in the world and the fourth largest American-owned private employer in the United States. Kroger is ranked #17 on the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Pop-up retail retail tactic of opening shops for short periods

Pop-up retail, also known as pop-up store or flash retailing, is a trend of opening short-term sales spaces that last for days to weeks before closing down, often to catch onto a fad or timely event.

On January 20, 2019, the company emerged from bankruptcy as Tru Kids. [5]

Tru Kids, Inc. is a company that owns the Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us brands. It was established on January 20, 2019 after its lenders cancelled the bankruptcy auction and took over the Toys "R" Us intellectual property in October 2018.


Logo of Toys "R" Us (1986-2007).png
The logo used from 1985 to 1998 in the United States and Canada and in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 1988 to 1999.
Logo Toys R Us.svg
The logo used in the United States from 1998 to 2007.

In April 1948, Charles P. Lazarus founded a baby-furniture retailer Children's Supermart in Washington, D.C., during the post-war baby boom. [6] Lazarus, who served in the Army during World War II, opened the first store at 2461 18th St. NW. He began receiving requests from customers for baby toys. After adding baby toys, he got requests for toys for older children. It was acquired in 1966 by Interstate Department Stores, Inc., [7] owner of the White Front, Topps Chains and Children's Bargain Town USA.

Washington, D.C. Capital of the United States

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city, located on the Potomac River bordering Maryland and Virginia, is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.

Post-war Interval immediately following the end of a war

In Western usage, the phrase post-war era or postwar era usually refer to the time since the end of World War II, even though many nations involved in this war have been involved in other wars since.

Baby boom

A baby boom is a period marked by a significant increase of birth rate. This demographic phenomenon is usually ascribed within certain geographical bounds. People born during these periods are often called baby boomers; however, some experts distinguish between those born during such demographic baby booms and those who identify with the overlapping cultural generations. The causes of baby booms involves various fertility factors. The most well-known baby boom occurred in middle of twentieth century, beginning in late 1930s or early 1940s and ending in 1960s. It was a change of trend that was largely unexpected, because in most countries it occurred in the midst of a period of improving economies and rising living standards.

The focus of the store changed in June 1957, and the first Toys "R" Us, dedicated exclusively to toys rather than furniture, was opened by Lazarus in Rockville, Maryland. [6] Lazarus also designed and stylized the Toys "R" Us logo, which featured a backwards "R" to give the impression that a child wrote it. [6] [8] The original Toys "R" Us store design from 1969 to 1989 consisted of vertical rainbow stripes and a brown roof with a front entrance and side exit. [9]

21st century

To improve the company, the board of directors installed John Eyler (formerly of FAO Schwarz) in May 2000. [10] Eyler launched an unsuccessful, expensive plan to remodel and re-launch the chain. [11] Blaming market pressures (primarily competition from Walmart and Target), Toys "R" Us considered splitting its toy and baby businesses. [12] On March 17, 2005, a consortium of Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) and Vornado Realty Trust announced a $6.6 billion leveraged buyout of the company. [13] Public stock closed for the last time on July 21, 2005 at $26.74—a 63% increase since when it first announced that the company was put up for sale. Toys "R" Us became a privately owned entity after the buyout. [14] The company still files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as required by its debt agreements. [15]

A Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us combined location in Waterbury, Connecticut, February 2018. Toys R Us, Waterbury, CT.jpg
A Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us combined location in Waterbury, Connecticut, February 2018.

On August 23, 2011, Toys "R" Us announced it would begin to open combined Toys "R" Us/Babies "R" Us stores, with 21 new stores using the concept (11 of them having a full-sized "superstore" format), and 23 remodeled into the concept. The new locations were being built in Alabama, California, Georgia, New Jersey, and Texas. [16]

In December 2013, eight days before Christmas, Toys "R" Us announced their stores in the United States would stay open for 87 hours straight. [17] The flagship store of the retailer in Times Square was open for 24 hours a day from December 1 to 24, to cater to tourists. [18] The announcement came after snow and rain caused a nearly 9 percent year-over-year decline in U.S. store foot traffic. [19] [20] This move also pushed the retailer to hire an additional 45,000 seasonal workers to cater to the demand of the extended store hours. [21] [22] Since the toy business is incredibly seasonal, more than 40% of the company's sales come in during the fourth quarter of the year. [23]

In 2014, Toys "R" Us announced its "TRU Transformation" strategy, which concentrated on efforts to fix foundational issues affecting future growth, including making stores less cluttered, improving the customer experience, clearer pricing strategies and promotions, and tighter integration of its retail and online businesses. [24] [25] [26] In 2015, the company launched the first of a new concept store called the "Toy Lab" in Freehold, New Jersey. [27] The new layout provided more space for interactive exhibits and areas to play with new toys before purchase. This concept has since been expanded to stores in California, Delaware, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. [28]


United States and Canada

"Going out of business" sign on Babies "R" Us in Manchester, Connecticut, April 20, 2018 Babies "R" Us - Manchester, Connecticut.jpg
"Going out of business" sign on Babies "R" Us in Manchester, Connecticut, April 20, 2018
A Toys "R" Us store in Auburn, Massachusetts on June 24, 2018. Toys "R" Us, Auburn, MA 01.jpg
A Toys "R" Us store in Auburn, Massachusetts on June 24, 2018.
An abandoned Toys R Us in Winston-Salem, NC Abandoned Toys R Us in Winston-Salem, NC.jpg
An abandoned Toys R Us in Winston-Salem, NC

On September 18, 2017, Toys "R" Us, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, stating the move would give it flexibility to deal with $5 billion in long-term debt, borrow $2 billion so it can pay suppliers for the upcoming holiday season and invest in improving current operations. [29] [2] [30] The company has not had an annual profit since 2013. It reported a net loss of US$164 million in the quarter ending April 29, 2017. It lost US$126 million in the same period in the prior year. [31] It had been paying US$400 million per-year to service its debt, which prevented it from investing in improvements to in-store experiences to compete with Amazon and Walmart. Although the "retail apocalypse" was a factor, some analysts cited that the rapid increase in debt occurred under its private equity ownership. [32] [33] [34]

It was initially stated that only the U.S. and Canadian operations would be affected, [31] and that its brick-and-mortar stores and online sales sites would continue to operate. [35] In January 2018, the company announced it would liquidate and close up to 182 of its stores in the U.S. as part of its restructuring, as well as convert up to 12 stores into co-branded Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us stores. [36]

On February 28, 2018, it was reported that the company was exploring retaining its stronger Canadian operations, and the divestiture of some of its corporate-owned stores to franchises (leaving approximately 200 in a downsized chain). [37] Toys "R" Us Inc. later announced that all U.S. locations would be closed. [38] [39]

On March 15, 2018, Toys "R" Us received approval from the bankruptcy court to liquidate its stores. [40] [41] There were buyers interested in acquiring groups of stores to use as showrooms, as well as others interested in acquiring the chain's brand and associated intellectual property. [42] The company indicated in filings that the Canadian operations were profitable, and desired to preserve the operations of the 82-store chain through a sale. [43] MGA Entertainment had made an offer to acquire the Canadian operations. [44] MGA Entertainment CEO Isaac Larian attempted to raise $200 million through investments and public crowdfunding to purchase at least 400 of the U.S. locations. [45] [46]

Liquidation sales began on March 23, 2018. [47] The chain's online store shut down on March 29, redirecting visitors to information on the liquidation and closures. [48] [49] On April 24, 2018, it was announced that the Canadian division would be sold to Fairfax Financial for approximately $234 million, and would continue to operate the locations under the Toys "R" Us name. [50] Fairfax stated that it was potentially interested in purchasing U.S. locations as an extension of these Canadian operations. [51]

On June 29, 2018, Toys "R" Us shut down all of its remaining U.S. locations, after 70 years of operations. [52] [53] [54] In early July 2018, it was reported that unknown benefactors had bought out all of the remaining stock of two locations in North Carolina so they could be donated to charity. [55]

In November 2018, Fortune noted that the absence of the retailer during the 2018 holiday season represented a US$4 billion chunk of toy sales from which other retailers could benefit. [56] Party supply retailer Party City capitalized on the closures by establishing temporary pop-up stores under the branding Toy City—some of which filling vacancies left by Toys "R" Us locations. [57]


On December 4, 2017, the company reported that it would be liquidating and closing at least 26 stores in the United Kingdom as part of an insolvency restructuring known as a company voluntary arrangement. [58] After amassing £15 million in unpaid taxes, Toys "R" Us Limited entered administration on February 28, 2018. On March 2, 2018, it was announced that all UK stores would begin a liquidation sale, [59] and on March 14, 2018, it was announced that all UK stores were expected to close within six weeks. [60] On April 24, 2018, Toys "R" Us stopped trading in the United Kingdom after 34 years of service. [61]

On April 21, 2018, it was announced that UK and Irish rival Smyths would purchase Toys "R" Us stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as Toys "R" Us Europe's head office in Cologne. Smyths said that all of the outlets acquired will be rebranded. [62] On April 13, a bid was made by Isaac Larian to buy 356 Toys "R" Us stores for $890 million, but was rejected on April 17 and was fully scrapped on April 23. [63] [46] On July 19, 2019, it was announced that PicWicToys will replace the former Toys "R" Us stores in France. [64]


The Australian wing of Toys "R" Us entered voluntary administration on May 22. [65] On June 20, It was announced that all of their Australian stores will be closing as well. [66] [67] The closure of all stores was concluded on August 5, 2018. [68]


While representatives of the Asian arm of Toys "R" Us have consistently cited that they operate as a separate legal entity from the parent company and are unaffected by events at the parent company, [69] [70] Toys "R" Us had engaged in talks since February 2018 to offload Toys "R" Us Asia's majority stake to a bidder for a proposed US$1 billion while outlets in Asia continue to operate unaffected. [71] [72] The planned bid was revised downwards to US$760 million in August and scheduled for September while Toys "R" Us sought a United States court order to strip Fung Retailing, a Hong Kong-based partner managing the majority of Toys "R" Us Asian operations, of its right-of-first-refusal purchase option and force Fung Retailing to release its share of the unit. [73] [74] This follows allegations by Toys "R" Us' of Fung Retailing delaying the sale via court proceedings filed through the Hong Kong judiciary system to discourage rival bidders and acquire Toys "R" Us' share at a lower price; [75] the Eastern District of Virginia bankruptcy court would subsequently issue an order for Fung Retailing to drop its court order for the delay in a September 28, 2018, report. [75]

On November 16, 2018, Toys "R" Us Asia announced that the parent company has formally sold the Asian unit to Fung Retailing and multiple Toys "R" Us lenders at a valuation of US$900 million (later revised to US$760 million [76] ), with Fung Retailing receiving an increase in shares of the unit to become the lead shareholder of Toys "R" Us Asia and the unit securing the licensing rights to retain the Toys "R" Us namebrand. [77] [71]

Restructuring and Tru Kids, Inc.

On October 1, 2018, the company issued a bankruptcy court filing which stated that it would no longer auction off its intellectual property, since its controlling lender planned to "[revive] the business behind the Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us brand names" with a focus on maintaining existing licensing agreements and establishing new retail opportunities. The company evaluated that selling its brand at auction "[was] not reasonably likely to yield a superior alternative." [78] [79]

At the Toy Industry Association's Fall Toy Preview, the company unveiled plans for a preliminary venture to be known as Geoffrey's Toy Box, a wholesale store-within-a-store concept that the company planned to deploy in time for the holiday shopping season. The company planned to revive the Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us brands in the future. [80] In November 2018, it was announced that grocery market chain Kroger would add toy displays under the Geoffrey's Toy Box brand to some of its locations, to sell selections of Toys "R" Us private-label products. The brand operates under Geoffrey LLC, an intellectual property holding company within Toys "R" Us. [81] [82] [83]

On January 20, 2019, the company emerged from bankruptcy as Tru Kids. [5]

As of June 21, 2019, the company plans to open new stores in the US slated to be 10,000 square feet, roughly a third of the size of the big box brand that closed last year. [84]

Flagship store

New York flagship store interior ToysRus New York Flagship store interior 2011.jpg
New York flagship store interior

In July 2001, Toys "R" Us opened an international flagship store in New York's Times Square at a cost of $35 million. [85] The 110,000 square-foot store included various themed zones such as an amusement arcade (known as "R"Cade), Barbie (with a life-size dreamhouse), electronics (with dedicated sections like Dance Dance Revolution SuperNova and Skullcandy), Jurassic Park (with an animatronic T-Rex), Lego, Wonka, and the signature indoor Ferris wheel. The store drew thousands of tourists for over a decade before the company decided to cancel its lease on the space in December 2015. In August 2017, Toys "R" Us announced a 35,000 square-foot temporary store near the original one that would be open around the holiday season. [86]

Charitable giving and environmental initiatives

Since 2004, Toys "R" Us has partnered with the Toys for Tots foundation to serve as a donation site for anyone donating unwrapped toys or monetary gifts. [87] [88] Since the outset of the partnership, Toys for Tots has reported that Toys "R" Us campaigns have raised over $55 million and donated more than 4 million toys. [89]

The company also had a partnership with K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, a nonprofit organization that connects retailers, manufacturers, foundations and individuals with local nonprofit agencies. [90] [91]

The Toys "R" Us Children's Fund, a public charity affiliated with the company, partnered with non-profits to provide products and monetary gifts to children in need. Toys "R" Us Children's Fund has contributed over $7.6 million to Save the Children initiatives in the wake of natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and in 2016, the charity gave a $1 million grant to Give Kids the World Village. [92] [93]

In 2017, the company launched a short-lived philanthropic campaign with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. [94]

On April 11, 2011, Toys "R" Us announced that it planned to cover 70 percent of the roof of its distribution center in Flanders, New Jersey with a solar installation. The company claimed this 5.38-megawatt solar project would be the largest rooftop solar installation in North America. [95]

Product safety

Toys "R" Us has reportedly implemented high safety standards, and in 2007 vowed to take an aggressive approach towards holding vendors accountable for meeting those standards. [96] Former chairman and CEO Gerald L. Storch, testifying before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government on toy safety in September 2007, said he supported new legislation strengthening toy-safety standards and outlined new initiatives the retailer had set forth to ensure that its customers receive timely information on recalls (including a new website). [97] [98]

In 2008, the company introduced stricter product safety standards exceeding federal requirements. Among the new standards was a requirement for materials inside toys to meet a standard of 250 parts per million of lead for all products manufactured exclusively for the retailer (compared with the federal standard of 600 ppm.) Toys "R" Us also announced the requirement that baby products be produced without the addition of phthalates, which have raised concerns about infant safety. [99] The company has since adjusted its requirements to meet new federal standards enacted with the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.


Until their liquidation and closing in 2018, the company owned 739 stores in the United States. The company also owns more than 750 international stores and more than 245 licensed stores in 37 countries and jurisdictions. [100]


Toys "R" Us in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Canada is among the earliest foreign markets be targeted for international expansion. ToysRUsOntario4.jpg
Toys "R" Us in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Canada is among the earliest foreign markets be targeted for international expansion.

In addition to its expansion in the United States, Toys "R" Us launched a worldwide presence in September 1984 when the company opened its first international wholly owned store in Canada and licensed operation in Singapore. Toys "R" Us then entered the United Kingdom market in 1985. [101] During its most recent entry into a new market in November 2011 when it opened its first licensed store in Poland (Blue City), Toys "R" Us, International operated more than 600 international stores and over 140 licensed stores in 35 countries and jurisdictions outside the United States. [102] At its peak, Toys "R" Us, International had presence in 40 countries.

Many of these stores were corporately owned, but stores in some countries were independently owned and operated with Toys "R" Us licensing its name to a local company.

Africa and the Middle East

Since 1995 the Al-Futtaim Group has operated stores in Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. [103] Stores in Israel are operated by the Fishman retail group, [104] while stores in Saudi Arabia are owned by Qatar Petroleum. Stores in South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia are also independently owned and operated. [105]


Toys "R" Us in Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong Ocean Terminal ToysRus 201409.jpg
Toys "R" Us in Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Toys "R" Us has extensive presence in East Asian territories and Southeast Asia under the umbrella of Toys "R" Us Asia, a loose amalgamation of joint ventures with local companies. Toys "R" Us stores operate in Brunei, China (mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau), India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. [106]

The Asian unit was originally established in 1985 as a partnership between Toys "R" Us and Fung Retailing, the retail subsidiary of the Fung Group (a Hong Kong-based conglomerate that also owns Li & Fung, a major retail distributor), with the parent company owning a majority 85% stake while Fung Retailing owns the remainder of the shares. [106] [69] Following Toy "R" Us' sale of the Asian unit in November 2018, Fung Retailing becomes the lead shareholder of the unit, holding an increased share of 21% while Toy "R" Us' remaining 79% is distributed among a consortium of Toys "R" Us' lenders. [77] [71]

In 1991, Toys "R" Us opened their first stores in Japan as a joint venture with McDonald's Holdings Company (Japan), Ltd.  [ jp ]. [107] The joint venture was supposed to last until 2018, but Toys "R" Us withdrew in 2006; after suing for breach of contract, McDonald's Holdings was awarded an ¥1.38 billion ($13.35 million) settlement in 2008. [108] [109] After their joint venture ended, Toys "R" Us increased their ownership from approximately 48% to about 61%, [109] and integrated it into their overall Asian operation in 2017. [106]

Locations in South Korea and India are established through joint ventures formed in conjunction with Lotte Mart in 2007 and Lulu Hypermarket in 2017, respectively.

Buoyed by increasing demand for toys in the Asia Pacific region, the Asian and Japanese arms of Toys "R" Us are among the Toys "R" Us subsidiaries that have remained profitable into the 2000s and 2010s, registering "double digit" revenue growth through the mid-to-late 2010s. [71] In 2015, Toys "R" Us Asia posted a total turnover of US$1.85 billion; [106] for the year ended January 2017, net sales from China and Southeast Asia totaled at approximately US$375 million while the Japanese arm would net sales of US$1.3 billion from Toys "R" Us, despite recently declining yearly profits, and US$20.3 million from Babies "R" Us. [72] [77] Due to its separate legal statuses from its parent company, the Asian units of Toys "R" Us have been predominantly unaffected by troubles at the parent company. [69]

Toys "R" Us in Jyvaskyla, Finland Jyvaskyla - Toys R Us.jpg
Toys "R" Us in Jyväskylä, Finland


Locations in Poland (16 locations), Portugal and Spain are corporately-owned. At its peak Toys "R" Us had 105 stores in the United Kingdom, the remaining 100 of which were closed by April 24, 2018. [110] [111] [60] [61] In April 2018, it was announced that Smyths would acquire stores in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. As of July 2018 the sales are still pending. [112] Plans for stores in other European countries have not been announced yet, but liquidation is likely. [113] Toys "R" Us also operated stores in the Netherlands until 2009. [114] And Toys "R" Us also operated stores in France until 2019. [115]

Stores in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are owned by Top-Toy. [116] Top Toy filed for bankruptcy on December 30, 2018 due to poor holiday sales. [117]

North America

The Canadian arm of Toys "R" Us began operation in 1983 and is headquartered in Concord, Ontario. As of its sale to Fairfax Financial on June 1, 2018, the chain comprises 82 stores which continue to operate under the Toys "R" Us name following the sale. [118]


Toys "R" Us in Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne, Australia. ToysRus in Chadstone Shopping Centre 2017.JPG
Toys "R" Us in Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne, Australia.

Toys "R" Us closed its 44 stores in Australia on August 5, 2018. However on June 5, 2019, Toys "R" Us will be returning in Australia under partnership with Hobby Warehouse. [68] [119]

Store list

Current locations

ContinentCountriesNumber of StoresParent company
Asia Flag of Bahrain.svg Bahrain 1 [120] Al-Futtaim Group
Flag of Brunei.svg Brunei 1 [121] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China 196 [122] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of India.svg India 7 [123] Toys "R" Us Asia and Lulu Hypermarket
Flag of Israel.svg Israel 18 [124] Fishman Retail Group
Flag of Japan.svg Japan 47 [125] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of Kuwait.svg Kuwait 2 [126] Al-Futtaim GroupOnce had a giant store in Al Rai but has shutdown and replaced by Banta
Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia 43 [127] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippines 23 [128] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of Oman.svg Oman Al-Futtaim Group
Flag of Qatar.svg Qatar 3 [129] Al-Futtaim Group
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia 13 [130] Qatar Petroleum
Flag of Singapore.svg Singapore 10 [131] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea 2 [132] Toys "R" Us Asia and Lotte Mart
Flag of the Republic of China.svg Taiwan 22 [133] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of Thailand.svg Thailand 20 [134] Toys "R" Us Asia
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg United Arab Emirates 11 [135] Al-Futtaim Group
Africa Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt 3 [136] Al-Futtaim Group
Flag of Namibia.svg Namibia 1 [137] Independent
Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa 47 [138] Independent
Flag of Zambia.svg Zambia 1 [139] Independent
Europe Flag of Austria.svg Austria 3 [140] Toys "R" Us
Flag of Poland.svg Poland 16 [141] Toys "R" Us
Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal 11 [142] Toys "R" Us
Flag of Spain.svg Spain 14 [143] Toys "R" Us
North America Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada 83 [144] Fairfax Financial

Former locations

ContinentCountryNumber of Stores (before closure)Parent companyFate
Asia Flag of Indonesia.svg


1Purchased by and re-branded as Toy Kingdom in Early 2010's.
Australia Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia*44Toys "R" UsFiled for voluntary administration in May 2018 and closed all stores by the beginning of August.
Europe Flag of Austria.svg Austria 16Toys "R" UsPurchased by Smyths in 2018. All stores were re-branded under the name in 2019.
Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark 20Top-ToyParent company filed for Bankruptcy in December 2018 [145] .
Flag of Finland.svg Finland 2Top-ToyParent company filed for Bankruptcy in December 2018 [146] .
Flag of France.svg France 53Toys "R" UsThe French operations went into receivership in July in order to look for a buyer. 2018 [147] . The franchise including 44 of the stores was purchased by Jellej Jouets in October 2018, who merged the business with PicWic toys owner Luderix International in April 2019 [148] to form PicWicToys; which all Toys "R" Us and Picwic stores were re-branded into in July 2019 under Lunderix's ownership. [149]
Flag of Germany.svg Germany 67Toys "R" UsPurchased by Smyths in 2018. All stores were re-branded under the name in 2019.
Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland Top-ToyParent company filed for Bankruptcy in December 2018 [150] .
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands 17SpeelhoornSpeelhorrn's License to use the Toys "R" Us name expired in early 2009 and wasn't renewed, so in March 2009, Speelhoorn re-branded all the stores as Toys XL. [151] which would be purchased by Intertoys in 2017.
They originally attempted to sell the stores in 1997 to Blokker but were denied permission due to competition costs.
Flag of Norway.svg Norway Top-ToyParent company filed for Bankruptcy in December 2018 [152] .
Flag of Sweden.svg Sweden Top-ToyParent company filed for Bankruptcy in December 2018 [153] .
Flag of Switzerland.svg Switzerland 11Toys "R" UsPurchased by Smyths in 2018. All stores were re-branded under the name in 2019.
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey 35Uluslararası Çocuk Çarşıları A.S.The Firm that owned the Turkish stores terminated the licensing agreement with Toys "R" Us in 2008 and rebranded all the stores as Toyiki. [154] . Filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and closed down all stores [155] .
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom 105Toys "R" UsFiled for Administration in February 2018 and closed all stores by March and April of that year.
North America Flag of the United States.svg United States*739Toys "R" UsFiled for Bankruptcy in September 2017 and closed all stores by June of 2018.

Key:* Some defunct Toys R Us locations will be revived.

Other brands


Imaginarium was a private label brand of Toys "R" Us for their most of their toys that was acquired in 1999. [156] Originally after the acquisition by Toys "R" Us in 1999, it also operated stores until 2004. [11]

Kids "R" Us

The logo used for Kids "R" Us Kids "R" Us.png
The logo used for Kids "R" Us

Kids "R" Us is a discontinued children's discount clothing retailer. Their first stores opened in February 1983 in Paramus, New Jersey, and Brooklyn, New York. [157] The chain folded in January 2004 after the retailer suffered deteriorating same-store sales and to focus more on the Toys "R" Us brand. [158] [11]

Babies "R" Us

The logo used for Babies "R" Us from 2007 Babies "R" Us logo.svg
The logo used for Babies "R" Us from 2007

The first Babies "R" Us store opened in April 1996 in Westbury, New York. [159] In February 1997, Toys "R" Us acquired Duncan-based Baby Superstore, Inc., a 78-store chain, for $376 million. The locations were converted into Babies "R" Us. [160] The store operates as a specialty baby products retailer and has grown to about 260 stores in the United States before their closing in the late 2010s. The stores offer an assortment of products for newborns, infants, and toddlers. The company also maintains a registry and offers pre- and post-natal classes and events. [161] The stores are often co-branded with Toys "R" Us. The chain continues to operate outside of the United States.

FAO Schwarz

In May 2006, Toys "R" Us, Inc., acquired toy retailer FAO Schwarz including the retailer's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, as well as its e-commerce site, [162] The company closed the FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York on July 15, 2015, citing rising rental costs, but continued to carry FAO Schwarz-branded toys in its Toys "R" Us and Babies "R" Us stores until 2017. [163]

Toys "R" Us Express

For the 2009 holiday-shopping season, Toys "R" Us tried a smaller-store concept to attract customers and 90 "Holiday Express" stores across the United States and Canada were opened. [164] The Holiday Express stores are smaller than regular Toys "R" Us stores, often in malls, and offer a more limited selection of merchandise than would be available at a stand-alone Toys "R" Us store. Most (if not all) of these 90 stores were opened in shopping-center and mall spaces that had been vacated by store chains closing their doors during the recession (including KB Toys, several of which were taken over by Toys "R" Us). [164] Toys "R" Us's plan was to keep the Holiday Express stores open until early January 2010 and close them shortly thereafter, but the success of so many prompted the company to reconsider and several were kept open. [165] These stores are known as "Toys "R" Us Express". Beginning in May 2010, Toys "R" Us opened a total of 600 Express stores. Four more were converted to Toys "R" Us outlet stores. [166] As with the larger, basic Toys "R" Us stores, these locations also closed along with the outlet stores in the United States during summer 2018.

Web operations

The former logo of logo.png
The former logo of

Toys "R" Us began selling toys online with the launch of in 1998. [167] Following a disastrous Christmas 1999 trading period during which the company failed to deliver gifts on time, [168] Toys "R" Us entered into a ten-year contract with online retailer Amazon in 2000 to be the exclusive supplier of toys on the website. [169] Amazon eventually reneged on the terms of the contract by allowing third-party retailers to use its marketplace to sell toys, citing Toys "R" Us's failure to carry a sufficiently large range of goods, including the most popular lines. [170] In 2006, Toys "R" Us successfully sued Amazon; the company was awarded $51 million in damages in 2009, just over half of the $93 million initially claimed. [171]

It placed at No. 29 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide for 2012. [172] was one of the most visited sites in the specialty toy and baby products retail category with an assortment of toys. [173] In addition, offered a wide selection of baby products and supplies and access to the company's baby registry.

Looking to expand its web portfolio, in February 2009, the company acquired online toy seller from Parent Co., which filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed. [167] Around the same time, it was reported that Toys "R" Us, Inc. bought for an estimated $5.1 million. Today, the company operates to list unadvertised and exclusive deals available on its portfolio of e-commerce sites. [174]

In 2010, Toys "R" Us, Inc. reported that its Internet sales grew 29.9% year-over-year to $782 million from $602 million, and in April 2011, the company announced plans to open a dedicated e-commerce fulfillment center in McCarran, Nevada. [175] The company later reported online sales of $1 billion for 2011 and $1.1 billion for 2012. [176]

The website was sunsetted with a brief farewell message when the US liquidation began in March 2018. The surviving international stores continue to sell merchandise online.


The current iteration of Geoffrey the Giraffe Lifestyle AboutTRU.gif
The current iteration of Geoffrey the Giraffe

Formerly known as "Dr. G. Raffe" in 1950s print advertisements for Children's Bargaintown, Geoffrey the Giraffe evolved in name and appearance over the next decade to become the official mascot of the renamed Toys "R" Us. [177] Serving as a "spokesanimal" for the brand, Geoffrey's design went through several phases over the next 50+ years before the current star-spotted iteration was finalized in November 2007. [178]

In 2017, the company sponsored the live camera broadcast for April the Giraffe, which helped support giraffe conservation and awareness. The sponsored camera of pregnant April the giraffe went viral with millions of views on YouTube and across social media platforms. [179]

See also

Further reading

Related Research Articles

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  1. Also written as Toys R Us, without quotation marks. A backwards "R" appears in its logo, but in type, it is written as a regular "R".


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