The old Toys R Us headquarters in Wayne, New Jersey isn’t empty.
Despite a highly publicized bankruptcy and liquidation, the building at One Geoffrey Way — named after the company’s lovable mascot — was never sold in the liquidation.
Inside is a group of former Toys R Us executives. And they’re planning a comeback.
That’s according to the New York Post which reported that Richard Barry, the former chief merchandiser of Toys R Us, has been working the phone and contacting toy manufacturers ahead of the Toy Fair New York event next month.
His goal is to discuss a comeback plan for the currently defunct toy retailer.
Through a new company, Tru Kids Inc., Barry oversees the ownership rights to the Toys R Us and Babies R Us trademarks, as well as the company’s Geoffrey the Giraffe mascot.
The trademarks were purchased by a group of hedge funds, including Solus Alternative Asset Management and Angelo Gordon.
Toy Fair New York — considered the industry’s largest trade show — kicks off Feb. 16. Some of the vendors that are expected to be there were recently contacted by Barry and other ex-Toys R Us execs, who have been busy collecting licensing fees and servicing the company’s overseas stores.
Prior to the Wayne, New Jersey-based company’s 2017 Chapter 11 filing, Toys R Us had more than 750 outlets across Canada, Western Europe and Japan.
Barry is joined by former legal counsel Jamie Young and other merchandising and financial executives including Matt Finnegan and Rich Ryan.
Toys R Us went bankrupt due to a $7.5 billion leveraged buyout back in 2005. Private equity companies, including Bain Capital and KKR & Co. left the chain vulnerable by saddling it with a heavy debt load reported to be more than $5 billion.
Source: New York Business Journal January 25, 2019 | By Anthony Noto