NEWS

Is KB Toys on the way back?

Published on: 19th March 2018

Claims that the former specialist retailer will return to the US toy retail scene later this year have emerged.

In a series of posts on Linked In, the founder of Strategic Marks, Ellia Kassoff, has suggested that his company is making plans to resurrect specialist toy chain KB Toys.

The first post, which appeared on Friday, said: “As some of you know, our company Strategic Marks, LLC has acquired KB-Toys about a year ago. During that period, we had been working on several models to resurrect the “Great American Toy Store” and to make sure the stores can compete with Toys R Us, other brick and mortar stores as well as on-line retail. With the demise of Toys R Us, this week, we have now accelerated our business plan and hope to have our stores up and running before Christmas. We’re in discussions with many of the toy manufacturers, as we try to find out the best way to support them and the 20% loss of the US toy market due to the Toys R Us liquidation. We believe we will have the infrastructure in-place and [hopefully] save the toy industry. If you are a toy manufacturer or distributor, or ex KB Toys associate, please feel free to call us at: 949-424-1664 or email us at: info@kbtoysstore.com. We hope to help the industry and at the same time resurrect the amazing KB Toys name.”

The original post was followed over the weekend by a second post, which said: “Wow is all we can say after our first announcement here on Linked In. We’re received so many calls, emails, and private messages of support as we try to #savethetoyindustry. Due to the overwhelming response, we can’t commit to replying immediately but we will get to all messages as fast as we can. Many of you asked what our plans will be and all we can say is we spent the last six months working on a sustainable model to bring back KB Toys the right way, so it can compete with not only the big box stores but on-line as well.

Our umbrella, Strategic Marks, has been very successful bringing back many of the most popular products and companies over the last ten years because we follow a very strict formula; to bring back the experiences we loved as a child, just as you remembered them. With KB Toys, we had to also look at why they initially failed and to make sure those mistakes won’t be made again. Now, with the closing of Toys R Us so quickly, it caught us by surprise, so we’ve spent the last few days with our team and leaders in the toy industry to figure out how we can accelerate the project so our stores can open for the Christmas season. When we’re ready, you will be very happy with the results and we believe our model can withstand both on-line as well as other large competitors for not only the short-term but long-term as well.

We understand, we’re not just restarting the only other well-known and loved toy chain in the US but hope to find places for those 33,000 jobs which will be lost as Toys R Us closes. Please be patient with us over the next few weeks as we get this rolling. In the meantime, if you are a toy manufacturer, supplier, distributor, industry head or ex-KB Toys executive, we want to talk to you. Please email us at: info@kbtoysstore.com. If you are a current #toysrus employee, please feel free to send us your resume to resumes@kbtoysstore.com but also know that we won’t get back to you for a little while as we finalize our concept.”

The US toy industry is no doubt awaiting further posts with interest.

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