Toys ‘R’ Us is planning to open more than 100 new stores by the end of this year, a large number of which will be in China as the retailer continues its focus on that region.
In addition to new stores, the 100-store expansion includes the relocation and conversion of 14 stores to the side-by-side format and 22 new licensed stores in 21 of the 36 countries where Toys ‘R’ Us operates.
The most significant expansion plans are in China, where TRU has already begun operating several of the 22 new stores scheduled to open this year. By the end of the year, the company plans to operate a total of 51 stores in 27 cities throughout China.
The news stores follow the launch of an e-commerce site in the country in November 2012.
In October 2011, Toys ‘R Us acquired the majority stake in its business in Greater China and Southeast Asia from Fung Retailing, becoming the 70 percent majority owner in the region, with the other 30 percent still owned by Fung Retailing.
Toys ‘R’ Us also announced this week that it is introducing a gift card program throughout China.
The second largest area of growth for the company this year will be in the U.S., where 19 new, converted or relocated stores are planned to open, including nine smaller format Toys ‘R’ Us Outlet stores.
Among the other markets that will see new or expanded TRU stores are Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Poland, Spain and South Korea.
“Toys ‘R’ Us is recognized globally as the authority on toys and baby products, and we’re pleased to continue growing our store base to make our brand more accessible to parents and kids throughout the world,” says Antonio Urcelay, interim chief executive officer, TRU. “This expansion demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our long-term strategy–advancing our business in international markets with high growth potential and the continued integration of our toy and juvenile products businesses by combining Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies R’ Us together under one roof.”
Since embarking on its side-by-side store strategy in 2006, the company has converted approximately 25 percent of its global store base to a format that brings the company’s toy and juvenile product offerings together.