Just a few months after Toys R Us declared bankruptcy and closed all of their stores here in the US, it looks like they have planned a comeback as soon as next month. Now going under the name of Geoffrey’s Toy Box, they are planning to open store-in-a-store shops and the first ones will reportedly be in a large Midwest retailer. My guess is that it could be in some Meijer stores since they are pretty popular in that part of the country.
This news may sound great as we do need a dedicated toy store but it also doesn’t sit well with some, mainly former employees. As one of those employees, I along with about 33,000 others lost our jobs with no severance pay while the the executives got paid bonuses. I honestly don’t care much about it anymore because I had something lined up before I left but it did leave a bitter taste in my mouth with how everything went down. From what I read, they are trying to rehire some of the former employees in the new stores so that’s good news I suppose. If I was somehow invited back, I most likely won’t be going back because it won’t be the same as before.
It’s still hard to say what Geoffrey’s Toy Box could be at this time. Most likely there will probably be some LEGO sold there but not to the extent of what TRU used to have. We’ll have to see if this new venture pans out or not but the investors are optimistic. Below is the press release from a few days ago.
The announcement was made following a five month marketing effort by Boston-based Consensus, an investment bank retained to market the assets of Geoffrey, LLC, that resulted in several formal and informal proposals to acquire the intellectual property assets. After considering such proposals, it was determined that the proposal from the existing term lenders was meaningfully higher and better than any other global bid or the sum of the bids received on individual assets. The transition of the business to its new owners is pending approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court and all major creditor constituencies are supportive. Geoffrey, LLC thanks all parties that participated in discussions with the company over the prior months, particularly those that submitted proposals, for their thoughtful and diligent engagement.
Geoffrey, LLC, as reorganized, will control a portfolio of intellectual property that includes trademarks, ecommerce assets and data associated with the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us businesses in the United States and all over the world, including a portfolio of over 20 well-known toy and baby brands such as Imaginarium, Koala Baby, Fastlane and Journey Girls. The reorganized company will own rights to the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands in all markets globally, with the exception of Canada. It will also become the licensor of the brands to the company’s existing network of franchisees operating in countries across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and in South Africa.
In addition to continuing to service these markets, the new owners are actively working with potential partners to develop ideas for new Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in the United States and abroad that could bring back these iconic brands in a new and re-imagined way. Geoffrey LLC will provide additional detail on this front as it becomes available.