Tru Kids Inc, the US-based parent company of Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us®, and Hobby Warehouse Pty Ltd in Australia today announced an exclusive licensing agreement which will see the Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® brands return to Australia and make their debut in New Zealand.
The new license agreement, effective today, includes rights for Hobby Warehouse to sell through the www.toysrus.com.au and www.babiesrus.com.au websites for Australia and New Zealand including:
Hobby Warehouse will initially launch Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us online in Australia and New Zealand in June this year, featuring a wide range of toys and baby products at competitive prices. Same day delivery will be available in metropolitan Melbourne in the short term, which will be expanded to other metropolitan areas in Australia and New Zealand in the medium term.
Hobby Warehouse aim to launch physical ‘experience centres’ for Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us beginning in 2020.
Hobby Warehouse Chief Executive, Louis Mittoni, said: “We are delighted to bring the much-loved brands of Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us back to Australia and to introduce them to New Zealand. We believe play is extremely important in the development and wellbeing of children and in their interaction with family and friends. Play enables children to develop their imagination, collaborate, problem solve, explore, create or simply express themselves spontaneously.
“Our mission is to encourage children to engage with as many forms of play as we possibly can. Hobby Warehouse is a digital native with a keen understanding of how to accelerate and match the requirements of the modern shopper.”
Hobby Warehouse's management team together with commercial advisor, Kevin Moore, negotiated with Tru Kids’ executives and advisors for the Australian and New Zealand licensing rights.
Moore said: “Previously, the Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® business model in Australia was focused primarily on large physical retail stores which had high fixed costs and extended periods of relatively low sales due to seasonal factors. Going forward, the business model for Australia and New Zealand will be online focused, with smaller and fewer physical ‘experience centres’ that allow children and their families and friends to see and touch our products.”
Tru Kids Executive Vice President of Global Licensing & General Counsel, James Young, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Hobby Warehouse to bring Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us back to Australia and to launch in New Zealand. Louis Mittoni and his team have a strong digital vision and understand both the heritage of our iconic brands and how to evolve the shopping experience for the modern consumer. This is an exciting milestone for our company as we continue to grow Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us around the world.”
Tru Kids’ license partners currently operate over 700 Toys“R”Us and Babies”R”Us branded stores and ecommerce sites in more than 25 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with over US$3 billion of retail sales attributable to the brands in these regions in 2018.
Hobby Warehouse, which has a long and successful heritage selling online, will continue to market and sell hobby products to teenagers, younger adults and older adults.
Hobby Warehouse is an independent, Australian-owned company established in 2011 with a mission to enrich the lives of people by encouraging exploration, creativity and living life more fully through the enjoyment of hobbies. It is headquartered in Dandenong in Australia.
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Tru KidsTM is the parent of beloved brands, including Toys”R”Us®, Babies”R”Us® and Geoffrey the Giraffe®. Established in January 2019, Tru Kids is focused on growing its family of brands through innovative partnerships that deliver kid-and-parent-focused experiences that expand beyond traditional retails concepts in the physical and digital spaces.
The company delivers a wealth of services to its valued license partners around the world, in addition to design and development of over 20 additional established consumer brands. The company has offices in New Jersey,USA, Hong Kong & Shenzhen,China.
Tru Kids is a new company celebrating over 70 years of heritage with an expert team focused on families, kids, and play. Learn more at trukidsbrands.com.
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