KB Toys Reveals New Details About Comeback Plan

KB Toys is hoping to fill a void this holiday season, and now they've revealed additional details on how they plan to make that happen.

KB Toys CEO Ellia Kassoff explained the company's approach during a presentation at PlayCon 2018, which will involve coming back to market in the form of pop-up stores. KB Toys will launch 300 to 400 pop up stores around the country during this year's holiday season, using them as a quick way to test the market without overcommitting money for permanent structures (via TFW2005).

The best performing stores among those will be reviewed in early 2019 for potential expansion. Kassoff also looked ahead, saying he hopes to eventually have around 600 to 800 eventual permanent stores in the next 3 to 4 years.

Kassoff revealed that Simon Property Group is one of many mall organizations that replied to the original LinkedIn post regarding KB Toys' comeback, and are now on board as investors. He also mentioned that KB Toys is not utilizing banks, outside investors, nor private equity this time around. Kassoff mentioned having the malls as investors is a big step towards making sure what happened to KB Toys' original incarnation and now Toys "R" Us doesn't happen again, and that meant no outside investment or venture capitalists.

It also bridges the gap between tenant and landlord and should make the relationship productive for both.

As for the stores themselves, Kassoff mentioned that the brand will be about 80% of what you remember, but with some notable tweaks targeted at collectors. Kassoff said several big collector groups reached out to him, saying they prefer to buy locally as opposed to online. Among the requests is a "Toy Nerd" in each store, someone who really knows toys and collectibles. Kassoff said, "Done, we're going to have that person who can help the collector". KB Toys also wants to have meet and greet sessions with toy designers and toy companies, and all of these elements will help keep traffic coming into the store during the non-holiday times of the year.

KB Toys has also heard feedback from parents, so certain stores will be what they call KB Experience stores, which will be larger format stores (the size of a Toys "R" Us). Those stores will possibly have a cafe area but will also have party rooms available, so parents can organize birthdays and other gatherings without having to do so in the middle of the store, which some Toys "R" Us locations had started to do.


He also mentioned that KB Toys will bring over teams from Toys "R" Us, teams that have plenty of experience in the toy industry.

You can see the full presentation in the video above.