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Toys ‘R’ Us brand may be brought back to life

The company closed all of its US stores in June as part of a bankruptcy liquidation. But the owners of the company’s remaining assets are looking into restarting the business, as well as the related Babies “R” Us brand, the company disclosed in a court filing this week.

Toys “R” Us had planned to auction off the rights to its name and the Babies “R” Us brand. Bidders had already made offers for them, according to the filing. But the company’s owners decided to cancel the auction.

The company said it is considering “a new, operating Toys ‘R’ Us and Babies ‘R’ Us branding company,” the filing said. The plan would “create new, domestic, retail operating businesses under the Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us names, as well as expand its international presence and further develop its private brands business.”

The details of when and how the brand would be brought back to life were not disclosed.

The fact that other bidders were interested in buying the name doesn’t necessarily mean that others were looking to bring it back to life. Companies often buy the brands of out-of-business competitors in bankruptcy court to make sure the brand can’t be used again by a new rival. Details of who was looking to buy the Toys “R” Us brand also was not disclosed in the bankruptcy filing.

Toys “R” Us filed for bankruptcy a year ago, with the plans to use the reorganization process to shed debt and remain in business. But after a disastrously bad Christmas shopping season the company announced in March that it would close its remaining 800 US stores and go out of business.
That cost about 31,000 workers their jobs. The 70-year old retailer shut down in June.

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