KB Toys is set to return as a new retailer, with pop-up shops appearing in time for the holiday season.
At The Toy Association’s PlayCon in San Francisco, Ellia Kassoff, head of Strategic Marks, addressed toymakers and others about the plans for resurrecting the KB Toys brand in malls around the country.
As reported by James Zahn (AKA The Rockfather), KB Toys will return as a new retailer rooted in nostalgia, with plans to open pop-up shops this coming holiday season. Prior to folding as a result of dealings with Bain Capital Partners, KB operated under many variations of its name, including K.B Toys, K.B Toys Outlet, K.B Toy Works and Kay-Bee Toys between 1922 and 2009.
Ellia says that the new KB Toys is working with a key group of experienced people coming directly from Toys R Us. Due to the amount of people located near what will soon be the vacated Toys R Us headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey, KB will soon be opening a home office based in the garden state. Current plans include 400-600 seasonal pop-up stores for 2018, after which locations will be evaluated to become permanent locations. The current goal is to have 600-800 permanent stores within 3-4 years.
Much of the funding for this launch is said to be provided by malls directly, many of whom are taking ownership in the opportunity to have a toy store in their malls, eager to capitalise on the additional foot traffic that may bring.
KB Toys is looking to create an experience that Kassoff calls “80% the way you remember it,” but with some new twists. In addition to having a dedicated Toy Nerd on hand in each location, KB plans to work with collector groups and toymakers on in-store events, roadshows with vendors, meet & greets with toy designers, and more.
Beyond the small stores, there is also a concept for KB Experience Stores that will be the size of a Toys R Us, each of which will include features such as a cafe, party rooms, a party registry and the ability to order toys online and pick up giftwrapped toys in-store. With a brand-new web platform built from the ground-up, KB is expected to have a fresh and fully-functional omnichannel presence.