Toys R Us plans a small comeback with 2 stores this year – Daily News

on Jul19
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The first two new Toys R Us stores — one in Texas, the other in New Jersey — will open in November as part of a small comeback of the defunct iconic toy chain in the U.S.

Richard Barry, a former Toys R Us executive and now CEO of the new company called Tru Kids Brands, says an online experience will follow. He says brand partners and more details will be announced in coming weeks.

Tru Kids Brands said it has entered a partnership with a startup called b8ta, an experiential retailer to launch what Barry calls an interactive store experience based on a consignment model. Toymakers will pay for space in the stores but will get all the sales. The tech company will also offer brands access to data that will track traffic patterns and other metrics.

Plans are to open a Toys R Us store in The Galleria mall in Houston, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. The first two locations will be about 6,500 square feet — a fraction of the brand’s former big box stores. Barry noted stores opening later will be about 10,000 square feet.

Isaac Larian, CEO of privately held MGA Entertainment, the maker of the highly popular L.O.L. Surprise toys, said there’s a need for another independent toy chain, but he decided not to be a brand partner because he believes the consignment model is too risky for suppliers, particularly with the issue of returns. He says his factors, which make cash advances to suppliers based on the goods they sell to the merchant, also wouldn’t approve it.

“I like the interactive concept, but I just don’t think the consignment model is going to work,” said Larian, who along with several other investors, abandoned a bid last year to buy Toys R Us.

US stock indexes shake off an early loss and close higher

U.S. stocks reversed course from an early slump and closed higher Thursday to break a two-day losing streak after technology and bank stocks rallied.

The S&P 500 index rose 10.69 points, or 0.4%, to 2,995.11. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 3.12 points to 27,222.97. It was down as much as 151 points earlier. The Nasdaq composite rose 22.04 points, or 0.3%, to 8,207.24.

IBM rose 4.6% after reporting solid results. The company, along with Apple, helped lift the technology sector to lead the broader gains.

Banks led financial stocks higher. BB&T rose 2.8% and SunTrust Banks rose 2.7%. Both reported earnings that easily beat analysts’ estimates.

Benchmark crude oil fell $1.48 to settle at $55.30 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, fell $1.73 to close at $61.93 a barrel.

 Newspaper chains Gannett, GateHouse in merger talks

Two of the country’s largest newspaper companies are in “advanced talks” to combine.

That’s according to a Wall Street Journal report that cites unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The Journal says that Gannett Co., the owner of USA Today, and GateHouse Media, the owner of the Austin American-Statesman, Palm Beach Post and many papers in small- and mid-sized towns, are nearing a deal that would have GateHouse or its parent buy Gannett.

New Media Investment Group, itself a unit of private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, owns GateHouse. Fortress’ owner is Japanese tech giant SoftBank, which also owns U.S. wireless carrier Sprint.

GateHouse, New Media and Fortress did not immediately reply to messages. Gannett declined to comment.

Newspapers have been combining to weather the decline in print ad sales.

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