Tru Kids Brands and experiential retailer b8ta have hired Jamie Uitdenhowen as president of Toy Retail Showrooms, the joint venture operating and managing Toys “R” Us stores in the US.
In his new role, Uitdenhowen will oversee day-to-day business operations, experiential store development and vendor partnerships. He previously worked for Toys “R” Us for 18 years, most recently serving as VP and general manager. In 2017, Uitdenhowen was hired as CMO at Party City, where he managed all merchandising, planning and pricing activities for the company across North America.
After filing for bankruptcy protection in September 2017 and shuttering its US operations in March 2018, Toys “R” Us returned as a new company with new leadership earlier this year. Tru Kids Brands is headquartered in New Jersey and serves as the parent of more than 20 toy and baby brands including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us and Geoffrey.
In July, Tru Kids Brands announced it will bring Toys “R” Us stores back to the US for the holiday season. The joint venture with b8ta will see two smaller-footprint stores open in Texas and New Jersey, with plans to open additional locations across the US in 2020.