Toys ‘R’ Us staff are filling shelves this holiday season at hundreds of stores across Asia, where the brand has been given new life after being sold off by the bankrupt American toy retailer.
The Asia business is planning to expand next year with dozens more stores from China to Japan, using a different playbook that focuses on smaller shops with fewer options.
Large stores stacked with thousands of choices can become “paralyzing” for consumers, said Andre Javes, chief executive of the Asia business. “That was always the challenge in some of the Western countries.”
The toy store was doomed in the U.S. by a hefty debt load from a 2005 leveraged buyout, the rise of e-commerce and its model of building big-box outlets in out-of-town locales, which struggled to keep pulling in customers. Impatient creditors pushed it over the edge.