New York-based WHP Global has inked a long-term exclusive licensing agreement with Australia’s Toys “R” Us ANZ to launch digital and physical retail stores in the UK. The deal covers both the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us brands.
Toys “R” Us ANZ will start selling products in the UK online later this year through its existing e-commerce operations in Australia, while it works on establishing local teams and logistics facilities in the UK throughout 2022 and 2023.
Earlier this year, WHP Global acquired a controlling interest in Toys “R” Us parentco Tru Kids, announcing its intention to focus on digital platforms. This UK re-launch is in keeping with that strategy, and should do well in market, given that recent data from the UK’s Office for National Statistics has found that online purchases are accounting for more than 25% of all retail sales in the region. And this figure is expected to increase to 33% by 2025.
Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy in 2017, before shuttering its US stores in 2018. The retail giant also moved forward with UK store closures in 2018, ceasing operations at 100 locations in the region. Then in 2019, TRU returned as a new company called Tru Kids (doing business as Tru Kids Brands). Toys “R” Us stores reopened in several regions that same year, including the US and Australia. Today, more than 900 Toys “R” Us stores and e-commerce sites are operating in more than 25 countries. The retailer generates US$2 billion in sales each year, according to WHP Global.