Toys ‘R’ Us is set to make a return to the UK’s high streets this year, four years after closing all of its stores.
The toy chain fell into administration in 2018 after failing to attract a buyer, resulting in thousands of job losses.
But last year, the company’s Australian arm signed a licence agreement to bring its “digital and physical retail commerce” back to Britain.
Toys ‘R’ Us is set to return to the UK “in the next few months”, but an official date has not been confirmed.
However, the company has now ramped up its recruitment and is hiring a new UK team ready for the relaunch.
The toy chain has hired senior buyer James Ford, who helped build Debenhams’ toy arm, for the core Toys ‘R’ Us business, while Katie Ellis, who has worked for both Toys ‘R’ Us and Mothercare previously, and Argos toys buyer Lukasz Jasinski have joined the Babies ‘R’ US UK team.
Toys ‘R’ Us Australia chief executive Louis Mittoni, who is spearheading the UK launch said: “I’m very excited to welcome over 100 years of retailing experience in our new team, who will lead the relaunch of our iconic brand back into the UK market in the next few months.
“We have an amazing toy and baby buying team, which I believe is the best in the country.
“With this team now in place, we’re hitting the ground running and have been reaching out to the supply base to see with whom we can align on this amazing journey.”
Toys ‘R’ Us launched in the UK in 1985, emerging as the ‘world’s first toy supermarket’, and at its peak had 1,500 stores worldwide.
The US parent company filed for bankruptcy in 2017 after debts reached more than £3.5billion.
A year later, the retailer collapsed and closed all of its 100 UK branches, resulting in thousands of redundancies.
However, last year owner WHP Global signed an agreement with Toys ‘R’ Us Australia to lead the brand’s revival in the UK..
WHP Global had previously acquired a controlling interest in Tru Kids, the parent company of the Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us brands.
As well as reopening UK stores, the chain is also planning to launch a new online store this year too.
At the moment, the website is just a landing page, but shoppers can subscribe to the mailing list and play the free web game while they wait for the site to go live.