MGA’s CEO and one of social media’s more vociferous members of the toy industry, Isaac Larian has initiated a social campaign to save Toys R Us.
According to the latest reports to emerge from the US and sources close to the matter, the toy retailer is now in the process of drafting the court motion for its liquidation plan.
The retailer could file as soon as the end of Wednesday, March 14, making the motion official. A liquidation will most likely result in the closing of all Toys R Us’ 800 stores in the US.
It follows the recent news that Toys R Us’ UK arm has entered administration and has commenced a slate of closing down sales at sites across the country.
The plight of the US parent company has been described as a blow to the toy industry as the retailer accounts for around 15 to 20 per cent of US toy sales. The fear of liquidation has already sent reverberations across the toy industry that saw shares of toymaker Mattel drop eight per cent, while Hasbro’s stock has shed about 4.6 per cent.
MGA Entertainment’s CEO, Larian has long been a champion for the toy retailer, going on record to point out that “losing Toys R Us will have a devastating effect on the whole toy business and on innovation.”
In a statement posted on LinkedIn last night, Larian said: “No other retailer can fill the gap.”
The CEO is now calling on the toy industry to rally together under a campaign he has hashtagged #Savetoysrus.
“I am going to get a bunch of investors (myself included) together and try to save as much of Toys R Us as possible and hire a great guy or gal to run it independently. We need to do this for our kids and grandkids.
“Losing Toys R Us will have a devastating effect on the whole toy business and on innovation. No other retailer can fill the gap. I ask all other toy company CEOs and owners to please join me on this effort.”
While too late for the UK, the campaign has already been heralded as a great initiative by others across the industry, eliciting support and commendation, however, whether that is to translate into action, remains to be seen.
While the response has been positive, others have pointed out the potential futility of the campaign, one that to many, should have been launched long ahead of the looming deadline day of Thursday, March 19.
Earlier this month, Toys R Us UK declared it was entering administration, closing down its operations and putting 3,200 jobs at risk.