When last year Toys R Us went under, there were news that KB Toys is plotting a comeback to take advantage of the market gap. It still hasn’t happened though.
Originally KB Toys had to come back by the end of 2018. The plan featured to have up to 1000 pop-up stores open in time for the holidays.
That never happened. Now ToyBook reports that the reason is there’s not enough funding. The Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association (LIMA) says the effort to secure funding didn’t pan out.
The relaunch of KB Toys is a project by Ellia Kassoff who is the CEO of Leaf Brands and Strategic Marks. “The toy companies had lots of conflicts of interest that prevented them from investing in KB given that they sell to other retailers, and mall operators don’t typically invest in prospective tenants,” Kassoff tells LIMA. “It is taking a while to get this done and build out a strategy. Once we get the money together we will be off and running.”
Still, the KB Toys is still on the table. Strategic Marks now is scaling down the initial run to 200-250 temporary stores.
That will show if there’s enough interest in the brand. If there is, then the temporary stores will eventually transform into permanent.
All of this will take time, though. So, don’t really expect much activity on the KB Toys front for now.