TLP: Malls 'R Us, Just in Case
Does this mean stand-alone stores are not performing? Maybe online sales have been sluggish? Toys 'R Us is looking to boost holiday business with a third option, doubling down on a bet the company tried last year.
Toys 'R Us unwrapped plans to vastly expand its reach this Christmas by adding 600 "pop-up" stores, more than 260 Toy 'R Us shops within Babies 'R Us stores — and an additional eight outlet stores.Keeping China busy, one toy at a time.
And with the new stores, comes about 10,000 jobs above and beyond its traditional holiday hiring.
In doing so, the nation's largest toy retailer is placing a big bet that a larger presence in the nation's malls and shopping centers this holiday season will translate into richer profits.
The strategy paid off for the retailer last year, when it opened 350 "Holiday Express" stores. Despite a challenging retail environment, sales in the fourth quarter for 2009 rose 7.3 percent to $5.857 billion, while earnings during the period climbed to $387 million from $345 million in the prior year.
But this year, the company is setting the bar higher, opening up six-times as many temporary stores — a number that actually doubles the number of Toys 'R Us stores in the U.S. — to add an additional 2.4 million square feet of toy-selling space for the holiday season.
"We're going to be where the people are and make sure Toys 'R Us is convenient for our customers," said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys 'R Us.