A year after the toy giant slipped out of Aussie waters, Toys ‘R’ Us have made a triumphant return into the online market.
Family-owned online retailer, Hobby Warehouse, has made a licensing deal with the international toy retailer, with sales expected to double or triple over the next few years.
Toys ‘R’ Us was founded in 1957, and became an internationally-acclaimed toy, clothing, video game and baby product retailer. At the start of 2018, the company crashed into voluntary administration two months after its US-based parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The retailer struggled to find a buyer for the Aussie operations, but Hobby Warehouse has since signed a 30-year licensing agreement to bring Toys ‘R’ Us back to life. Owned by Louis Mittoni, Hobby Warehouse holds the rights to LEGO, Barbie and Disney, and will be able to sell the products under the Toys ‘R’ Us name.
“We believe play is extremely important in the development and wellbeing of children and in their interaction with family and friends. Play enables children to develop their imagination, collaborate, problem solve, explore, create or simply express themselves spontaneously,” said Mittoni in a statement. According to a commercial advisor at Hobby Warehouse, Toys ‘R’ Us will maintain an ‘obsessive’ focus on e-commerce in Australia for the first 18 months of its rebirth.
“Our mission is to encourage children to engage with as many forms of play as we possibly can. Hobby Warehouse is a digital native with a keen understanding of how to accelerate and match the requirements of the modern shopper,” explained Mittoni.
The toy company is said to be targeting 30 per cent of Australia’s toy retail market, which is valued at $740 million, as well as establishing an impression on New Zealand, for the first time in the company’s history. Alongside Toys ‘R’ Us is Babies ‘R’ Us, which will also relaunch across the Australian and New Zealand retail landscape.