Toys R Us ANZ has signed an exclusive deal with WHP Global for UK rights, saying it will tailor its successful Australian relaunch plan to the UK.
Toys R Us ANZ Limited and WHP Global, the parent company of Toys R Us and Babies R Us, have announced that they have signed a landmark long-term exclusive licence agreement for Toys R Us ANZ to run digital and physical retail commerce for Toys R Us and Babies R Us in the UK.
Yehuda Shmidman, WHP Global and Toys R Us chairman and CEO, commented: “We selected Toys R Us ANZ as our partner to expand into the UK because of its proven success in launching with us in Australia under the leadership of their CEO, Dr. Louis Mittoni. Toys R Us today is a vibrant business with over 900 stores and eCommerce sites across over 25 countries, generating over US$2b a year in sales and growing, especially with the new launches underway for both the US and UK markets.”
Dr Louis Mittoni, CEO and managing director of Toys R Us ANZ, said: “Tailoring our successful Australian relaunch plan to the UK echoes the success of other eCommerce ‘platform play’ businesses that have delivered growth and value, due to their ability to quickly and cost effectively expand their software, processes, partner relationships and brands into new countries. Since Toys R Us returned to Australia in June 2019, we have scaled quickly as customers returned to the much-loved brand and our eCommerce model has proven its success.
“My team and I are looking forward to developing technical and commercial relationships with UK-based vendors and partners and to engage with the many loyal former Toys R Us customers and fans in the UK.”
Toys R Us ANZ plans to commence online sales to UK shoppers over the next few months, initially from existing operations in Australia, while it works to establish local teams, offices and logistics facilities during 2022 and 2023.
The retailer recently announced a purpose-built, state-of-the-art warehouse distribution and adjoining head office facility located in Victoria. The new premises have been specifically designed and configured to house the company’s headquarters and to accommodate the Company’s medium-term requirements for warehousing and office space as well as a Toys R Us retail experience centre. This includes a significant investment in Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) technology to increase capacity and efficiency. The company says that the new centre will enable it to realise its UK growth ambitions, with a further strategy to transfer these technologies and other processes to future locations.
Toys R Us ANZ delivered strong results for the fourth financial quarter, despite the relocation of warehouses between 22nd July and 12th August. The number of orders received via the Toys R Us Australia website during September was 18.4k, representing an increase of 73.5% YoY.
The Company ended the 2021 financial year with a strong balance sheet and is cash self-sufficient. In connection with the licence agreement, Toys R Us ANZ will issue shares to Tru Kids Inc. equal in value to $1.76m, subject to shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting to take place later this year.