Toys "R" Us to Cut Prices, Expand 'Mini Store' Concept with Ahold

TRENTON, N.J. - Toys "R" Us on Wednesday said it will cut prices on about 200 popular items to better compete with Wal-Mart and Target, The Associated Press reports.

The Paramus, N.J.-based retailer, now the No. 2 U.S. toy seller behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc., also said it will begin testing new business strategies as part of an effort to increase its toy market share, now about 17 percent, to 20 percent, as it nears the end of a costly restructuring and store remodeling plan that was partially responsible for losses in two of the last three quarters.

"Every year, we're going to try to launch a new business concept to see if we can grow our business," John Eyler, president and CEO, said at the company's annual meeting in New York.

The first new concept, successfully tested in four Washington, D.C. area Giant supermarkets last summer, involves setting up mini-Toys "R" Us stores in grocery stores that are part of the Dutch Ahold supermarket conglomerate. That will be expanded to dozens more stores in a wider area this year.

"We think this has potential to grow to 1,500 to 2,000 stores," Eyler said.

The second idea is to put mid-size stores combining the company's biggest divisions -- Toys "R" Us, Kids "R" Us and Babies "R" Us -- in small markets where the company presently has no operations.

Those stores will be named "Geoffrey," for the mascot. The first four will open this summer, but the company would not disclose their locations.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds