Toys R Us, Babies R Us and Geoffrey the Giraffe are making a comeback .
One year after liquidating its U.S. stores, former Toys R Us executives announced Monday that the iconic retailer has emerged as a company called Tru Kids Inc., and will be doing business as Tru Kids Brands.
Tru Kids will be run by President and Chief Executive Richard Barry, who previously served as global chief merchandising officer for Toys R Us.
“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to write the next chapter of Toys R Us by launching a newly imagined omni-channel retail experience for our beloved brands here in the U.S.," Barry said in a statement announcing the plans.
Tru Kids will be based in New Jersey, and its workforce includes a team of former Toys R Us employees, the company said. The company, which in spring was preparing to leave its longtime headquarters in Wayne , did not say how large its New Jersey team is.
Representatives for Tru Kids did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
After a crippling 2017 holiday season, the Wayne-based toy retailer liquidated its stores across the United State.
The Toys R Us brands began operating under Tru Kids Inc. on Jan. 20, the company said Monday. It plans to open 70 stores this year in Asia, India and Europe, and is focusing on the development of e-commerce platforms.
It was unclear what the company's strategy will be for reviving the iconic brands in the U.S. market and whether the stores will open under the Tru Kids name or if the Toys R Us name will be revived.
The company said further updates for its nationwide strategy will be announced. This week's announcement comes days before the annual Toy Fair New York, which is the industry’s biggest U.S. trade show, starting this weekend.
Last month, reports began to surface of a possible comeback by former Toys R Us executives. Some began reaching out to toy manufacturers in late January to discuss their plans, the New York Post reported , and reportedly to set up meetings during this weekend's Toy Fair. Insiders told the Post last month that executives had been quietly working out of the company’s old headquarters in Wayne.
Other returning top Toys R Us employees on the Tru Kids management team include: Matthew Finigan, who will serve as its chief financial officer; James Young as executive vice president of global license management and general counsel; and Jean-Daniel Gatignol as senior vice president of global sourcing and brands.
Yehuda Shmidan, chief executive of Wave Hill Partners and former chief executive of Sequential Brands Group, will serve as vice chairman of the company to advise on its global strategy. Sequential Brands owns, manages and licenses a selection of brands including Martha Stewart Living and the Jessica Simpson Collection.
Tru Kids is also the parent company for the brands Journey Girls, Fastlane, True Heroes, You & Me, Imaginarium and Just Like Home. The company described itself as a business focused on its growth through innovative partnerships.
In October, initial signs of a Toys R Us revival began to unravel when lenders revealed they planned to keep its corporate brand names and intellectual properties. They also unveiled plans for a wholesale venture called Geoffrey's Toy Box – a collection of brands featured at nearly 600 Kroger-owned grocery stores this past holiday season.
Although Toys R Us and Babies R Us shuttered their doors across the United States last year, the company continued to operate more than 900 stores and e-commerce businesses in more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Those businesses generated $3 billion in global retail sales last year, the company said.
Tru Kids said it has global partners spanning the United Arab Emirates, Israel, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, India, Labuan and Asia, and plans to work closely with those partners to expand the Toys R Us and Babies R Us brands in those markets.
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This article originally appeared on North Jersey Record: Toys R Us, Babies R Us set to re-emerge within Tru Kids Brands