Babies ‘R’ Us is returning to the U.S., beginning with a 10,000-square-foot flagship scheduled to open this summer in the American Dream retail and entertainment complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
WHP Global, a brand management firm and owner of Babies ‘R’ Us as well as Toys ‘R’ Us, Anne Klein, Joseph Abboud, Joe’s Jeans, William Rast and Isaac Mizrahi and Lotto, revealed the plan on Tuesday.
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WHP is developing a strategy for the rollout of Babies ‘R’ Us in the U.S. via brick-and-mortar stores and e-commerce. Babies ‘R’ Us disappeared from the U.S. retail landscape in 2018 along with Toys ‘R’ Us following the joint bankruptcy in 2017 involving the U.S. operations of both businesses.
“Since acquiring both the Babies ‘R’ Us and Toys ‘R’ Us brands in 2021, our mission has been laser-focused on bringing them back to America,” said Yehuda Shmidman, chairman and chief executive officer of WHP Global, on Tuesday. “We achieved that mission for Toys ‘R’ Us by opening our global flagship at American Dream and through our landmark partnership with Macy’s. Our plan to open Babies ‘R’ Us at American Dream in the coming months is a huge milestone in the return of Babies ‘R’ Us to the U.S.A., and it sets the stage for a national rollout of Babies ‘R’ Us in the future.”
WHP took ownership of Babies ‘R’ Us and Toys ‘R’ Us by obtaining a controlling interest in the parent company of both brands, TRU Kids Inc., also giving WHP control of Geoffrey the Giraffe and more than 20 consumer toy and baby brands, for an undisclosed price. After the deal was concluded, WHP established a partnership with Macy’s for Toys ‘R’ Us which led to the fast rollout of Toys ‘R’ Us shops inside 451 Macy’s locations, completed last fall. The Toys ‘R’ freestanding flagship opened in American Dream in December 2021.
“Following the success of the Toys ‘R’ Us flagship, which opened just over a year ago, we are thrilled to see Babies ‘R’ Us back in the U.S. as part of the unparalleled retail experience that can only be found at American Dream,” said Don Ghermezian, president and CEO of American Dream.
The executives said the upcoming Babies ‘R’ Us flagship at American Dream will be a “one-stop shop for all things baby.” Along with the wide range of baby products, Babies ‘R’ Us at American Dream will debut some new interactive experiences, such as a stroller test track, a “Bon Voyage” photo-op station where parents can announce their new arrivals, and a “wishing tree” to share well-wishes to families and their babies. There will also be a baby registry lounge, a nursery design center with room set displays, a learning center for private events and educational workshops, and a comfort zone to feed or change babies.
Ahead of the flagship opening, Babies ‘R’ Us will begin to roll out content and resources for new and expecting parents across its digital channels, starting with a video feature from actress and first-time mother-to-be Gina Rodriguez.
While currently not available in the U.S., the Babies ‘R’ Us brand operates in more than 20 countries with digital sites, and more than 100 stand-alone and side-by-side Toys ‘R’ Us branded stores.
Adding to its portfolio of brands, WHP In December 2022 signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 60 percent interest in an intellectual property joint venture that holds the brand IP of fashion specialty retailer Express. Post-closing of Express, WHP’s portfolio will generate more than $6.5 billion in global retail sales, WHP indicated. The company also owns WHP+, a turnkey direct-to-consumer digital e-commerce platform, and WHP Solutions, a sourcing agency based in Asia.