Meanwhile, the Toy Association releases official statement on Toys R Us bankruptcy.
Amazon.com has looked at the possibility of expanding its retail footprint by acquiring some locations from bankrupt Toys R Us, according to insiders. Reports suggest that the online retailer isn’t interested in maintaining the Toys R Us brand, but is considering using the soon-to-be-vacant spaces for its own purposes.
Such a move would let Amazon expand its brick-and-mortar presence, after it bought Whole Foods Market and its over 450 locations last year. The company also has opened its own line of bookstores and a convenience-store concept.
Additional stores would give Amazon space to showcase its popular Echo line of devices, and would put inventory closer to where shoppers live, potentially enabling quick delivery to e-commerce customers.
Toys R Us, meanwhile, may live on in some form. The company announced plans to shut down its US operations last week, but its Canadian unit is up for sale, along with its operations around the world.
An investment group led by Isaac Larian, the founder of toymaker MGA Entertainment, has submitted a bid to acquire the Canadian business. Isaac has said that his group is also doing due diligence on the US stores, and hopes to keep some of them open.
A statement from Steve Pasierb, released on The Toy Association website, reads: “After three years of above average growth, 2018 now finds the toy industry at an inflection point. More immediately, in addition to the direct negative impact on some companies, the flood of liquidation product from TRU can likely weaken sales at both mass and specialty retailers. Likewise, there will be a short-term negative influence on orders coming into our manufacturing members, at least until the ramp-up happens to stock for the 2018 holiday season.
We will continue to update and share information and resources related to the bankruptcy process with our members. As always, and especially in trying times, the entire team at The Toy Association and our Board of Directors is committed to helping toy companies protect and grow their businesses.
TRU continues to look for possible ways to save a limited number of US stores and is in discussions about combining the sale of approximately 200 US stores with the sale of the Canadian operations. That could be wonderful and a step toward #SaveToysRUs.
I’ve learned the toy community is amazingly resilient. There are a few things I’m certain about as the TRU situation unfolds: the birth rate will be unaffected, kids will celebrate birthdays, Christmas is still on the calendar, and the many developmental benefits of childhood play are proven – toymakers are an innovative sort and they must, can, and will adjust to marketplace realities.”
The full statement can be read here.