KB Toys seems to be making a comeback, and now we have a better idea of how that will actually work later this year.
The company is being brought back thanks to Strategic Marks, which bought the KB name in 2016. Strategic Marks president Ellia Kassoff recently explained how the company plans to launch in time for Christmas this year, and it will entail openings up 1,000 pop-up KB Toys stores for Black Friday and the rest of the holiday season (via CNN Money).
To get those up and running Strategic Marks is working with other companies that specialize in holiday and pop-up retail stores, including Spencer Spirit Holdings Inc., Go! Retails Group, and Party City Holdco Inc.
"We're talking to companies that know how to do it, they have a methodology, they're used to rolling out stuff real quickly," Kassoff said.
Strategic Marks has also been in contact with Hasbro, Mattel, and around 200 other toy suppliers who seem to have an overabundance of inventory with nowhere to put it come holiday season.
"My assumption is that there's about half a billion dollars worth of toys that have been produced for Toys "R" Us with no place to go," Kassoff said. "That's a big, big void that we're hoping to fill up."
The plan is that after the holiday season Strategic Marks will evaluate the pop-up stores and keep the ones that performed well open, as long as they can negotiate a lease for the space.
Kassoff has been overwhelmed by the support for this new era of KB Toys and shared his excitement in a recent blog post.
"The last couple of day have been extraordinary for us at #Strategicmarks and @kbtoysstore. We've received thousands of messages, through tweets, phone calls, @linkedin requests the press and @youtube videos. The support from not only the public but toy companies, toy collectors, political figures, financial institutions and employees of @toysrus and ex #kbtoysemployees have been humbling. To top it off, I became very emotional when I read an email to me from the grandson of Howard Kaufman, the founder of Kay Bee Toys who is still alive and well at the great age of 92. The whole family is so happy to see the possibility of @kbtoysstorer coming back. It is such an honor and privilege to work on bringing back the store Howard created, you have no idea how amazing this is for us. Due to the overwhelming response to my initial post, I apologize if I can't get back to all of you but we want every single person to know we care about all your messages of support. We are still putting together the strategy and hope to have that completed over the next few weeks, so we ask that everyone be patient with us. #savethetoyindustry #kbtoysstoreisback"