Earlier this year, Toys ‘R’ Us declared bankruptcy and closed down 800 of their stores signaling an end of an era for the famous toy store. Last week, it came as a surprise when lenders for Toys ‘R’ Us canceled their bankruptcy auction, indicating that they might be planning a comeback for the brand.
The name and mascots of Toys ‘R’ Us were retained by the lenders, and though the owners of the company could not make them work, the investors think they have figured out a way to do so. Though Geoffrey the Giraffe has been the Toys ‘R’ Us mascot for years, going forward, he will now be the main attraction!
Toys ‘R’ Us just released a statement saying that the brand will be “re-imagined.” Last weekend, at the Dallas Toy Preview, Geoffrey himself was “back from vacation,” according to his cape.
During the event, it was announced that Toys ‘R’ Us is being officially rebranded as “Geoffrey’s Toy Box.” The company said that Geoffrey’s Toy Box is a “wholesale toy distributor and intellectual property company whose focus is on popular play patterns across trusted brands that kids and parents love. Geoffrey’s Toy Box is a fully outfitted organization with design, development and global sourcing expertise. Portfolio includes popular brands like Journey Girls, Fastlane, True Heroes, You & Me, Imaginarium, Just like Home and more!”
The company made sure to say that Geoffrey’s Toy Box will not be like Toys ‘R’ Us. Instead, it will be a “shop-within-a-shop,” partnering with larger retailers to open mini-locations inside their stores.
While some are happy about this, former employees are anything but. Carrie Gleason, campaign manager for advocacy group Rise Up Retain, explained that thousands of employees were laid off when Toys ‘R’ Us was shut down. She added that this “PR stunt” is like “lemon on the wounds” for those still waiting on their severance pay.
“They’re saying Geoffrey went on vacation. We certainly did not go on vacation,” said former employee Sarah Woodhams.
Guess who’s back? He’s been traveling across the globe for the past few months but now #GeoffreysBack and once again ready to set play free for children of all ages. Share some of your favorite memories and get ready to make a whole lot of new ones! https://t.co/g4IMRXLsFP pic.twitter.com/VB2MjhnzKj
— ToysRUs (@ToysRUs) October 6, 2018
Toys ‘R’ Us still owes their former employees $75 million in severance pay, but apparently only $20 million was set aside.
Gleason fears that new, cheaper employees will be hired at the new store instead of the former employees who desperately need the jobs.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section.