Toys R Us Deals, Specials & Catalogues

One of the most well-established toy companies in the world

Toys R Us is an international retailer of children’s toys and games. The company was founded by Charles P. Lazarus in 1948, who saw the commercial potential of the post-war baby boom. The store started out as a baby furniture retailer located in Washington DC. When Lazarus started getting requests from his customers for baby toys, he listed them. Then requests for toys for older children followed. Lazarus decided to change from furniture to supplying toys and changed the name of the company to Toys R Us in 1957, with a store opening in Maryland. The brand was acquired in 1966 by Interstate Department Stores. Toys R Us was a success for decades before mass retailers like Walmart threatened its position. The explosive growth of e-commerce retailers like Amazon further resulted in share losses for Toys R Us. By 2005, the company was an acquisition target and Bain Capital, KKR & Co., and Vornado Realty bought out the business for $6.6-billion. Toys R Us delisted from the stock exchange and became a private company following the buyout.

The company has close to 900 stores operating in the US and 750 international stores. About a third of its international stores are licensed, including the 67 stores found in Southern Africa. Toys R Us South Africa is privately owned by Christian Larsen and Mohmit Mia. Prior to purchasing the licence from previous owners, Redgwoods, the businessmen had been the biggest local supplier of toys to the retailer. There are 65 stores in South Africa and another two in Namibia and Zambia. The local stores carry an extensive range – about 25,000 product items – of toys for babies and children of all ages. As can be expected, toys make up a majority of the store’s sales with the balance being split among other baby products, games, and related accessories.

Toys R Us’ Times Square store was one of the top attractions for tourist families visiting New York until it closed in 2015.