Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us returns to Australia and partners with eBay

Brands make return to local market with new bricks and mortar and online retail strategy

The local owner of children's toy and product brands, Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us, which recently re-launched in Australia and debuted in New Zealand, has announced eBay as a retail partner under a newly inked deal. 

Already boasting of distinct local websites, the eBay virtual storefront is another component of an omnichannel strategy being built by owner, Hobby Warehouse, which is bringing the toy and baby brands back to local shores.

"EBay has done a good job of becoming a partner-focused marketplace in a structured way with account management teams and clear promotional plans for partners. You need the marketplace because the reach is so vast," Hobby Warehouse chief executive, Louis Mittoni, explained to CMO.

Ebay senior director B2C, advertising and commercial partnership, Kristian Haigh, also described the partnership as a natural evolution. The deal continues an eight-year relationship between the auction and retail marketplace and Hobby Warehouse.

"Toys“R”Us is an icon known and loved by Aussies of all ages, so we’re thrilled to welcome the retailer to eBay as it builds its online offering,” Haigh said.

An Australian-owned company, Hobby Warehouse was established in 2011. It obtained local licensing rights for Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us from TruKids, the US umbrella company formed in 2019 to bring the well-established brands together with 20 other toy and baby brands under one moniker.

Mittoni said it was an easy decision to take  local licensing rights, knowing the brand value. "We saw huge strength in the brand - it's a 70-year-old brand, and there's huge trust in it," he said.

Products on offer include LEGO, Disney, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, My Little Pony, Nerf, Monopoly, Meccano, PAW Patrol, Play-Doh, Thomas & Friends, Monster Jam, Britax and InfaSecure.

Alongside online, Hobby Warehouse plans to establish a bricks-and-mortar retail presence, but with a small footprint and focused role, in the hope of avoiding a return to the challenges of running a large retail network. This will entail Hobby Warehouse to launch physical experience centres for Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us.

The retail phase kicks off in 2020, although the company is not giving away the number of stores being planned. Mittoni said the goal is to create an emotional relationship with an online brand through large format stores that bring products to life in all their tactile, interactive realness. He drew an analogy with large, experiential stores like Bass Pro in the US, as well as iconic toy stores such as FAO Schwarz in the US and Hamleys in London and Prague.

"We want to bring the experiences of play and touch to life and then have the benefit of buying in-store if it's store or having it shipped if it's bulky. So buy in-store, ship to home," Mittoni explained. "Our focus is always on the shopper. Can we create an amazing experience where they can spend a day there."

The company sees the new brands as a good fit, mirroring the ages of customers from Babies“R”Us to Toys“R”Us and Hobby Warehouse with online the backbone and the experiential stores the showrooms. Mittoni said the decision to bring the brands back has been met with a positive response, boding well for revival and longevity.

Speaking on behalf of the US owners, True Kids executive VP of global licensing and general counsel, Jamesa Young, saw the A/NZ plans as an exciting milestone for the company as it continues to grow Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us around the world.

"Louis Mittoni and his team have a strong digital vision and understand both the heritage of our iconic brands and how to evolve the shopping experience for the modern consumer,” he said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Anyone can become a victim of the sophisticated schemes set up by these scam websites. It's not about being smart; I don't consider mysel...

Mathieu Lecompte

ACCC takes Meta to court over scam cryptocurrency advertising

Read more

Nice blog!Blog is really informative , valuable.keep updating us with such amazing blogs.influencer agency in Melbourne

Rajat Kumar

Why flipping Status Quo Bias is the key to B2B marketing success

Read more

good this information are very helpful for millions of peoples customer loyalty Consultant is an important part of every business.

Tom Devid

Report: 4 ways to generate customer loyalty

Read more

Great post, thanks for sharing such a informative content.

CodeWare Limited

APAC software company brings on first VP of growth

Read more

This article highlights Gartner’s latest digital experience platforms report and how they are influencing content operations ecosystems. ...

vikram Roy

Gartner 2022 Digital Experience Platforms reveals leading vendor players

Read more

Blog Posts

​Why we need to look at the whole brand puzzle, not just play with the pieces

Creating meaningful brands should be a holistic and considered process. However, all too frequently it’s one that is disparate and reactive, where one objective is prioritized at the expense of all others. So, what are the key pieces to the ‘good’ brand puzzle?

Marketing overseas? 4 ways to make your message stick

Companies encounter a variety of challenges when it comes to marketing overseas. Marketing departments often don’t know much about the business and cultural context of the international audiences they are trying to reach. Sometimes they are also unsure about what kind of marketing they should be doing.

Cynthia Dearin

Author, business strategist, advisor

From unconscious to reflective: What level of data user are you?

Using data is a hot topic right now. Leaders are realising data can no longer just be the responsibility of dedicated analysts or staff with ‘data’ in their title or role description.

Dr Selena Fisk

Data expert, author

Sign in