Toys ‘R’ Us is plotting a comeback but with stores that are much smaller than the ones the iconic retail chain operated in the past.
Tru Kids Brands, a licensing firm formed last year by creditors following the toy chain’s September 2017 bankruptcy filing, plans to open a handful of US stores in time for the holidays that will span about 10,000 square feet each, The Post has learned.
That’s downsized sharply from the 600 stores that were shuttered for good last spring, which had typically spanned 20,000 to 50,000 square feet.
“We are a little startup company now,” Tru Kids Chief Executive Richard Barry said, confirming the pint-size store plans.
Barry declined to comment on where the new shops will open, but the chain’s biggest locations previously were in New Jersey and on Long Island, according to Jim Silver, president of toy-review site TTPM.
“There’s no guesswork on their part about where to open stores because they know which ones performed the best,” Silver told The Post.
Controlled by the investment firms Angelo Gordon and Solus Alternative Asset Management, Tru Kids owns both the Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us brands, as well as the rights to mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe.
While Toys ‘R’ Us disappeared from the American retail landscape, the brand is licensed to more than 900 stores in Asia and Europe, which generated sales of more than $3 billion for Tru Kids last year. In February, Tru Kids said it will open 70 more stores overseas this year.
In the US, Tru Kids operated “Geoffrey’s Toy Box” pop-up stores inside 600 Kroger grocery stores during the holidays.
Tru Kids plans to provide more details about its retail strategy in June, Barry told The Post at the TTPM toy show in Manhattan on Thursday. The plan will also include an e-commerce component, according to TTPM’s Silver, who was briefed on the strategy.
Earlier this year, Barry and his team moved out of the old, 620,000-square-foot Toys ‘R’ Us headquarters at One Geoffrey Way in Wayne, NJ, and into office space in nearby Parsippany.